Three-dimensional turbo-spin-echo amide proton transfer MR imaging at 3-tesla and its application to high-grade human brain tumors

Xuna Zhao, Zhibo Wen, Ge Zhang, Fanheng Huang, Shilong Lu, Xianlong Wang, Shuguang Hu, Min Chen, Jinyuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging is able to extend the achievable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast to the protein level. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of applying a turbo-spin-echo (TSE)-based, three-dimensional (3D) APT sequence into routine clinical practice for patients with brain tumors. Procedures: Experiments were performed on a Philips 3-Tesla (3-T) MRI scanner using an eight-channel phased-array coil for reception. A fast 3D APT sequence with a TSE acquisition was proposed (saturation power, 2 μT; saturation time, 500 ms; 8 slices). The gradient echo (GRE)-based field-mapping technique or water-saturation-shift-referencing (WASSR) technique was used to acquire B0 maps to correct for B 0-induced artifacts in APT images. The test was performed on a box of homogenous protein solution, four healthy volunteers, and eight patients with high-grade gliomas. Results: The experimental data from a homogenous, protein-containing phantom and healthy volunteers show that the sequence produced a uniform contrast across all slices. The average MTR asym(3.5 ppm) values with GRE B0-corrected 3D APT imaging and WASSR-corrected 3D APT imaging were both comparable to the values obtained using the undemanding single-slice acquisition. The average APT image intensity was consistently higher in the tumor core than in the peripheral edema and in the contralateral normal-appearing white matter (both P < 0.001). Conclusion: 3D APT imaging of brain tumors can be performed in about 5 min at 3-T using a routine, commercial eight-channel SENSE coil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-122
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • 3D
  • APT imaging
  • Brain tumor
  • CEST imaging
  • MRI
  • Protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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