MR imaging of high-grade brain tumors using endogenous protein and peptide-based contrast

Zhibo Wen, Shuguang Hu, Fanheng Huang, Xianlong Wang, Linglang Guo, Xianyue Quan, Silun Wang, Jinyuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging is a novel MRI technique, in which the amide protons of endogenous proteins and peptides are irradiated to accomplish indirect detection using the bulk water signal. In this paper, the APT approach was added to a standard brain MRI protocol at 3. T, and twelve patients with high-grade gliomas confirmed by histopathology were scanned. It is shown that all tumors, including one with minor gadolinium enhancement, showed heterogeneous hyperintensity on the APT images. The average APT signal intensities of the viable tumor cores were significantly higher than those of peritumoral edema and normal-appearing white matter (P<0.001). The average APT signal intensities were significantly lower in the necrotic regions than in the viable tumor cores (P=0.004). The APT signal intensities of the cystic cavities were similar to those of the viable tumor cores (P>0.2). The initial results show that APT imaging at the protein and peptide level may enhance non-invasive identification of tissue heterogeneity in high-grade brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010



  • APT
  • Brain tumor
  • CEST
  • MRI
  • Magnetization transfer
  • Protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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