Variable delay multi-pulse train for fast chemical exchange saturation transfer and relayed-nuclear overhauser enhancement MRI

Jiadi Xu, Nirbhay N. Yadav, Amnon Bar-Shir, Craig K. Jones, Kannie W.Y. Chan, Jiangyang Zhang, P. Walczak, Michael T. McMahon, Peter C.M. Van Zijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging is a new MRI technology allowing the detection of low concentration endogenous cellular proteins and metabolites indirectly through their exchangeable protons. A new technique, variable delay multi-pulse CEST (VDMP-CEST), is proposed to eliminate the need for recording full Z-spectra and performing asymmetry analysis to obtain CEST contrast. Methods The VDMP-CEST scheme involves acquiring images with two (or more) delays between radiofrequency saturation pulses in pulsed CEST, producing a series of CEST images sensitive to the speed of saturation transfer. Subtracting two images or fitting a time series produces CEST and relayed-nuclear Overhauser enhancement CEST maps without effects of direct water saturation and, when using low radiofrequency power, minimal magnetization transfer contrast interference. Results When applied to several model systems (bovine serum albumin, crosslinked bovine serum albumin, l-glutamic acid) and in vivo on healthy rat brain, VDMP-CEST showed sensitivity to slow to intermediate range magnetization transfer processes (rate < 100-150 Hz), such as amide proton transfer and relayed nuclear Overhauser enhancement-CEST. Images for these contrasts could be acquired in short scan times by using a single radiofrequency frequency. Conclusions VDMP-CEST provides an approach to detect CEST effect by sensitizing saturation experiments to slower exchange processes without interference of direct water saturation and without need to acquire Z-spectra and perform asymmetry analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1798-1812
Number of pages15
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014


  • APT
  • CEST
  • MTC
  • chemical exchange
  • contrast agent
  • exchange rate
  • magnetization transfer
  • pulsed CEST
  • relayed NOE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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