Optimal variable flip angle schemes for dynamic acquisition of exchanging hyperpolarized substrates
ABSTRACT In metabolic MRI with hyperpolarized contrast agents, the signal levels vary over time due to T1 decay, T2 decay following RF excitations, and metabolic conversion. Efficient usage of the nonrenewable hyperpolarized magnetization requires specialized RF pulse schemes. In this work, we introduce two novel variable flip angle schemes for dynamic hyperpolarized MRI in which the flip angle is varied between excitations and between metabolites. These were optimized to distribute the magnetization relatively evenly throughout the acquisition by accounting for T1 decay, prior RF excitations, and metabolic conversion. Simulation results are presented to confirm the flip angle designs and evaluate the variability of signal dynamics across typical ranges of T1 and metabolic conversion. They were implemented using multiband spectral-spatial RF pulses to independently modulate the flip angle at various chemical shift frequencies. With these schemes we observed increased SNR of [1-(13)C]lactate generated from [1-(13)C]pyruvate, particularly at later time points. This will allow for improved characterization of tissue perfusion and metabolic profiles in dynamic hyperpolarized MRI.
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ABSTRACT: Real-time imaging of (13) C metabolism in vivo has been enabled by recent advances in hyperpolarization. As a result of the inherently low natural abundance of endogenous (13) C nuclei, hyperpolarized (13) C images lack structural information that could be used to aid in motion detection and anatomical registration. Motion before or during the (13) C acquisition can therefore result in artifacts and misregistration that may obscure measures of metabolism. In this work, we demonstrate a method to simultaneously image both (1) H and (13) C nuclei using a dual-nucleus spectral-spatial radiofrequency excitation and a fully coincident readout for rapid multinuclear spectroscopic imaging. With the appropriate multinuclear hardware, and the means to simultaneously excite and receive on both channels, this technique is straightforward to implement requiring little to no increase in scan time. Phantom and in vivo experiments were performed with both Cartesian and spiral trajectories to validate and illustrate the utility of simultaneous acquisitions. Motion compensation of dynamic metabolic measurements acquired during free breathing was demonstrated using motion tracking derived from (1) H data. Simultaneous multinuclear imaging provides structural (1) H and metabolic (13) C images that are correlated both spatially and temporally, and are therefore amenable to joint (1) H and (13) C analysis and correction of structure-function images. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.NMR in Biomedicine 03/2015; 28(5). DOI:10.1002/nbm.3279 · 3.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Measuring metabolism's time- and space-dependent responses upon stimulation lies at the core of functional magnetic resonance imaging. While focusing on water's sole resonance, further insight could arise from monitoring the temporal responses arising from the metabolites themselves, in what is known as functional magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Performing these measurements in real time, however, is severely challenged by the short functional timescales and low concentrations of natural metabolites. Dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization is an emerging technique that can potentially alleviate this, as it provides a massive sensitivity enhancement allowing one to probe low-concentration tracers and products in a single-scan. Still, conventional implementations of this hyperpolarization approach are not immediately amenable to the repeated acquisitions needed in real-time functional settings. This work proposes a strategy for functional magnetic resonance of hyperpolarized metabolites that bypasses this limitation, and enables the observation of real-time metabolic changes through the synchronization of stimuli-triggered, multiple-bolus injections of the metabolic tracer 13C1-pyruvate. This new approach is demonstrated with paradigms tailored to reveal in vivo thresholds of murine hind-limb skeletal muscle activation, involving the conversion of 13C1-pyruvate to 13C1-lactate and 13C1-alanine. These functional hind-limb studies revealed that graded skeletal muscle stimulation causes commensurate increases in glycolytic metabolism in a frequency- and amplitude-dependent fashion, that can be monitored on the seconds/minutes timescale using dissolution dynamic nuclear polarization. Spectroscopic imaging further allowed the in vivo visualization of uptake, transformation and distribution of the tracer and products, in fast-twitch glycolytic and in slow-twitch oxidative muscle fiber groups. While these studies open vistas in time and sensitivity for metabolic functional magnetic resonance studies in muscle, the simplicity of our approach makes this technique amenable to a wide range of functional metabolic tracer studies.PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e96399. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0096399 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations of the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene are among the most prevalent in low-grade glioma and secondary glioblastoma, represent an early pathogenic event, and are associated with epigenetically-driven modulations of metabolism. Of particular interest is the recently uncovered relationship between the IDH1 mutation and decreased activity of the branched-chain amino acid transaminase 1 (BCAT1) enzyme. Non-invasive imaging methods that can assess BCAT1 activity could therefore improve detection of mutant IDH1 tumors and aid in developing and monitoring new targeted therapies. BCAT1 catalyzes the transamination of branched-chain amino acids while converting α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) to glutamate. Our goal was to use (13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy to probe the conversion of hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] α-KG to hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] glutamate as a readout of BCAT1 activity. We investigated two isogenic glioblastoma lines that differed only in their IDH1 status, and performed experiments in live cells and in vivo in rat orthotopic tumors. Following injection of hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] α-KG, hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] glutamate production was detected both in cells and in vivo, and the level of hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] glutamate was significantly lower in mutant IDH1 cells and tumors compared to their IDH1-wild-type counterparts. Importantly however, in our cells the observed drop in hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] glutamate was likely mediated not only by a drop in BCAT1 activity, but also by reductions in aspartate transaminase and glutamate dehydrogenase activities, suggesting additional metabolic reprogramming at least in our model. Hyperpolarized [1-(13)C] glutamate could thus inform on multiple mutant IDH1-associated metabolic events that mediate reduced glutamate production.Neuro-Oncology 05/2014; 74(16). DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0680 · 5.29 Impact Factor