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Magn Reson Med. 1999 Apr;41(4):743-50.

In vivo imaging of extracellular pH using 1H MRSI.

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Department of Biochemistry, The University of Arizona, Tucson, USA.


Tumor pH is physiologically important since it influences a number of processes relevant to tumorigenesis and therapy. Hence, knowledge of localized pH within tumors would contribute to understanding these processes. The destructiveness, poor spatial resolution, and poor signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of current technologies (e.g., microelectrodes, 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy) have limited such studies. An extrinsic chemical extracellular pH (pHe) probe is described that is used in combination with 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging to yield pHe maps with a spatial resolution of 1 x 1 x 4 mm3. The principle of the technique is demonstrated on a phantom. Further data are shown to demonstrate its application in vivo, and results agree with previously reported pH values. The accuracy of the reported pH measurements is <0.1 pH units, as derived from a detailed analysis of the errors associated with the technique, the description of which is included.

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