Quantifying amide proton exchange rate and concentration in chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging of the human brain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) neuroimaging protocols typically acquire CEST-weighted images, and, as such, do not essentially provide quantitative proton-specific exchange rates (or brain pH) and concentrations. We developed a dictionary-free MR fingerprinting (MRF) technique to allow CEST parameter quantification with a reduced data set. This was accomplished by subgrouping proton exchange models (SPEM), taking amide proton transfer (APT) as an example, into two-pool (water and semisolid macromolecules) and three-pool (water, semisolid macromolecules, and amide protons) models. A variable radiofrequency saturation scheme was used to generate unique signal evolutions for different tissues, reflecting their CEST parameters. The proposed MRF-SPEM method was validated using Bloch-McConnell equation-based digital phantoms with known ground-truth, which showed that MRF-SPEM can achieve a high degree of accuracy and precision for absolute CEST parameter quantification and CEST phantoms. For in-vivo studies at 3 T, using the same model as in the simulations, synthetic Z-spectra were generated using rates and concentrations estimated from the MRF-SPEM reconstruction and compared with experimentally measured Z-spectra as the standard for optimization. The MRF-SPEM technique can provide rapid and quantitative human brain CEST mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-213
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage
Volume189
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Keywords

  • APT
  • CEST
  • Concentration
  • Exchange rate
  • MR fingerprinting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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