Purpose: 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. Magn Reson Med 78:97–106, 2017.
- CEST MRI
- POMP MRI
- extracellular pH
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging