latest papers

Snapshot-CEST: Optimizing spiral-centric-reordered gradient echo acquisition for fast and robust 3D CEST MRI at 9.4 T

Zaiss M, Ehses P, Scheffler K. NMR in Biomedicine. 2018;e3879.

Gradient echo (GRE)-based acquisition provides a robust readout method for chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) at ultrahigh field (UHF). To develop a snapshot-CEST approach, the transient GRE signal and point spread function were investigated in detail, leading to optimized measurement parameters and reordering schemes for fast and robust volumetric CEST imaging. Simulation of the transient GRE signal was used to determine the optimal sequence parameters and the maximum feasible number of k-space lines. Point spread function analysis provided an insight into the induced k-space filtering and the performance of different rectangular reordering schemes in terms of blurring, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and relaxation dependence. Simulation results were confirmed in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of healthy subjects. Minimal repetition time (TR) is beneficial for snapshot-GRE readout. At 9.4 T, for TR = 4 ms and optimal flip angle close to the Ernst angle, a maximum of 562 k-space lines can be acquired after a single presaturation, providing decent SNR with high image quality. For spiral-centric reordered k-space acquisition, the image quality can be further improved using a rectangular spiral reordering scheme adjusted to the field of view. Application of the derived snapshot-CEST sequence for fast imaging acquisition in the human brain at 9.4 T shows excellent image quality in amide and nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE), and enables guanidyl CEST detection. The proposed snapshot-CEST establishes a fast and robust volumetric CEST approach ready for the imaging of known and novel exchange-weighted contrasts at UHF.





Downfield-NOE-suppressed amide-CEST-MRI at 7 Tesla provides a unique contrast in human glioblastoma.
Magn Reson Med. 2016 Jan 27;
Authors: Zaiss M, Windschuh J, Goerke S, Paech D, Meissner JE, Burth S, Kickingereder P, Wick W, Bendszus M, Schlemmer HP, Ladd ME, Bachert P, Radbruch A

PURPOSE: The chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) effect observed in brain tissue in vivo at the frequency offset 3.5 ppm downfield of water was assigned to amide protons of the protein backbone. Obeying a base-catalyzed exchange process such an amide-CEST effect would correlate with intracellular pH and protein concentration, correlations that are highly interesting for cancer diagnosis. However, recent experiments suggested that, besides the known aliphatic relayed-nuclear Overhauser effect (rNOE) upfield of water, an additional downfield rNOE is apparent in vivo resonating as well around +3.5 ppm. In this study, we present further evidence for the underlying downfield-rNOE signal, and we propose a first method that suppresses the downfield-rNOE contribution to the amide-CEST contrast. Thus, an isolated amide-CEST effect depending mainly on amide proton concentration and pH is generated.
METHODS: The isolation of the exchange mediated amide proton effect was investigated in protein model-solutions and tissue lysates and successfully applied to in vivo CEST images of 11 glioblastoma patients.
RESULTS: Comparison with gadolinium contrast enhancing longitudinal relaxation time-weighted images revealed that the downfield-rNOE-suppressed amide-CEST contrast forms a unique contrast that delineates tumor regions and show remarkable overlap with the gadolinium contrast enhancement.
CONCLUSION: Thus, suppression of the downfield rNOE contribution might be the important step to yield the amide proton CEST contrast originally aimed at. Magn Reson Med, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.