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Magn Reson Med. 2012 Jul;68(1):107-19. doi: 10.1002/mrm.23213. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Investigation of chemical exchange at intermediate exchange rates using a combination of chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) and spin-locking methods (CESTrho).

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Department of Radiology, Center for Magnetic Resonance and Optical Imaging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6100, USA.


Proton exchange imaging is important as it allows for visualization and quantification of the distribution of specific metabolites with conventional MRI. Current exchange mediated MRI methods suffer from poor contrast as well as confounding factors that influence exchange rates. In this study we developed a new method to measure proton exchange which combines chemical exchange saturation transfer and T(1)(ρ) magnetization preparation methods (CESTrho). We demonstrated that this new CESTrho sequence can detect proton exchange in the slow to intermediate exchange regimes. It has a linear dependence on proton concentration which allows it to be used to quantitatively measure changes in metabolite concentration. Additionally, the magnetization scheme of this new method can be customized to make it insensitive to changes in exchange rate while retaining its dependency on solute concentration. Finally, we showed the feasibility of using CESTrho in vivo. This sequence is able to detect proton exchange at intermediate exchange rates and is unaffected by the confounding factors that influence proton exchange rates thus making it ideal for the measurement of metabolites with exchangeable protons in this exchange regime.

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