Evaluations of extracellular PH within in vivo tumors using acidocest MRI

Liu Qi Chen, Christine M. Howison, Justin J. Jeffery, Ian F. Robey, Phillip H. Kuo, Mark D. Pagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


Purpose: A practical, noninvasive method is needed to measure the extracellular pH (pHe) within in vivo tumors to longitudinally monitor tumor acidosis. We have optimized a biomedical imaging method, termed acidoCEST MRI, to provide noninvasive assessments of tumor pHe in preclinical models of mammary carcinoma.

Methods: A CEST-FISP MRI method was optimized to detect the chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) of two amide protons of a clinically approved CT contrast agent, iopromide. The ratio of the two CEST effects was used to measure pH. Routes of administration of iopromide were evaluated to ensure sufficient delivery of the agent to the tumor. The optimized acido- CEST MRI method was then used to evaluate the change in tumor pHe following alkalinizing bicarbonate treatment.

Results: The acidoCEST MRI protocol measured pH between 6.2 and 7.2 pH units. Greater delivery of iopromide was shown to improve the precision of the measurement of tumor pHe, but the agent did not influence the tumor pHe. AcidoCEST MRI was used to longitudinally monitor the effect of bicarbonate treatment on the pHe of tumors and bladders. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that an optimized acido- CEST MRI method is a practical, noninvasive method for assessing changes in tumor acidosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1408-1417
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Bicarbonate treatment
  • Iopromide
  • Tumor pH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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