Multislice CEST MRI Improves the Spatial Assessment of Tumor pH
Multislice maps of extracellular pH (pHe) are needed to interrogate the heterogeneities of tumors and normal organs. To address this need, we have developed a multislice chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI acquisition method with a CEST spectrum-fitting method that measures in vivo pHe over a range of 6.3 to 7.4.Methods:
The phase offset multiplanar (POMP) method was adapted for CEST fast imaging with steady-state free precession (FISP) MRI to acquire multiple image slices with a single CEST saturation pulse. The Bloch-McConnell equations were modified to include pH based on a calibration of pH and chemical exchange rate for the contrast agent iopamidol. These equations were used to estimate the pixel-wise pHe values throughout the multislice acidoCEST MR images of the tumor, kidney, bladder, and other tissues of a MDA-MB-231 tumor model.Results:
Multislice acidoCEST MRI successfully mapped a gradient of pHe from 6.73 to 6.81 units from the tumor core to rim, and also mapped a gradient of pHe 6.56 to 6.97 across the mouse kidney. The bladder was found to be pHe 6.3.Conclusion:
AcidoCEST MRI with POMP acquisition and Bloch-McConnel analysis can map pHe in multiple imaging slices through the tumor, kidney, and bladder. This multislice evaluation facilitates assessments of spatial heterogeneity of tissue pHe.