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NMR in Biomedicine

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Hydrogen-ion concentration -- Measurement, Contrast media (Diagnostic imaging), Magnetic resonance imaging


The extracellular pH (pH(e) ) of solid tumors is acidic, and there is evidence that an acidic pH(e) is related to invasiveness. Herein, we describe an MRI single-infusion method to measure pH(e) in gliomas using a cocktail of contrast agents (CAs). The cocktail contained gadolinium-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraaminophosphonate (GdDOTA-4AmP) and dysprosium-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-N,N',N'',N'''-tetrakis(methylenephosphonic acid) (DyDOTP), whose effects on relaxation are sensitive and insensitive to pH, respectively. The Gd-CA dominated the spin-lattice relaxivity ΔR(1) , whereas the Dy-CA dominated the spin-spin relaxivity ΔR(2)*. The ΔR(2)* effects were used to determine the pixel-wise concentration of [Dy] which, in turn, was used to calculate a value for [Gd] concentration. This value was used to convert ΔR(1) values to the molar relaxivity Δr(1) and, hence, pH(e) maps. The development of the method involved in vivo calibration and measurements in a rat brain glioma model. The calibration phase consisted of determining a quantitative relationship between ΔR(1) and ΔR(2)* induced by the two pH-independent CAs, gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (GdDTPA) and DyDOTP, using echo planar spectroscopic imaging (EPSI) and T(1) -weighted images. The intensities and linewidths of the water peaks in EPSI images were affected by CA and were used to follow the pharmacokinetics. These data showed a linear relationship between inner- and outer-sphere relaxation rate constants that were used for CA concentration determination. Nonlinearity in the slope of the relationship was observed and ascribed to variations in vascular permeability. In the pH(e) measurement phase, GdDOTA-4AmP was infused instead of GdDTPA, and relaxivities were obtained through the combination of interleaved T(1) -weighted images (R(1) ) and EPSI for ΔR(2)*. The resulting r(1) values yielded pH(e) maps with high spatial resolution.


This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in NMR in Biomedicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in NMR in Biomedicine 2011 Dec; 24(10): 1380–1391.

*At the time of publication Mark Woods was affiliated with the University of Texas at Dallas

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