PARAmagnetic Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer (PARACEST) is a novel contrast mechanism for MRI. A PARAC-EST MRI methodology with high temporal resolution is highly desired for in vivo MRI applications of molecular imaging. To address this need, a strategy has been developed that includes a long selective saturation period before each repetition of a Rapid Acquisition with Relaxation Enhancement (RARE) pulse sequence. This strategy is suitable for the application of PARACEST contrast agents to environments with long T1 relaxation times. An alternative strategy uses short selective saturation periods before the acquisition of each k-space trajectory to maintain steady state conditions, which can be implemented with a Fast Low Angle Shot (FLASH) pulse sequence. These short saturation periods lengthen the total scan time as compared to the first approach but compensate for the loss in PARACEST contrast related to T1 relaxation. Both approaches have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo with significantly improved temporal resolutions as compared to a conventional gradient-echo PARACEST method without sacrificing CNR efficiency. These demonstrations also adopted a strategy for measuring the PARACEST effect that only requires selective saturation at a single MR frequency, which further improves temporal resolution for PARACEST detection.
- Paracest contrast agent
- Temporal resolution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging