In vivo hyperpolarization transfer in a clinical MRI scanner

Cornelius von Morze, Galen D. Reed, Peder E. Larson, Daniele Mammoli, Albert P. Chen, James Tropp, Mark Van Criekinge, Michael A. Ohliger, John Kurhanewicz, Daniel B. Vigneron, Matthew E. Merritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of in vivo 13C->1H hyperpolarization transfer, which has significant potential advantages for detecting the distribution and metabolism of hyperpolarized 13C probes in a clinical MRI scanner. Methods: A standalone pulsed 13C RF transmit channel was developed for operation in conjunction with the standard 1H channel of a clinical 3T MRI scanner. Pulse sequences for 13C power calibration and polarization transfer were programmed on the external hardware and integrated with a customized water-suppressed 1H MRS acquisition running in parallel on the scanner. The newly developed RF system was tested in both phantom and in vivo polarization transfer experiments in 1JCH-coupled systems: phantom experiments in thermally polarized and hyperpolarized [2-13C]glycerol, and 1H detection of [2-13C]lactate generated from hyperpolarized [2-13C]pyruvate in rat liver in vivo. Results: Operation of the custom pulsed 13C RF channel resulted in effective 13C->1H hyperpolarization transfer, as confirmed by the characteristic antiphase appearance of 1H-detected, 1JCH-coupled doublets. In conjunction with a pulse sequence providing 190-fold water suppression in vivo, 1H detection of hyperpolarized [2-13C]lactate generated in vivo was achieved in a rat liver slice. Conclusion: The results show clear feasibility for effective 13C->1H hyperpolarization transfer in a clinical MRI scanner with customized heteronuclear RF system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-487
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • dynamic nuclear polarization
  • lactate
  • pyruvate


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