Hyperpolarized water as an MR imaging contrast agent: Feasibility of in vivo imaging in a rat model

Mark D. Lingwood, Ting Ann Siaw, Napapon Sailasuta, Osama A. Abulseoud, Henry R. Chan, Brian D. Ross, Pratip Bhattacharya, Songi Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the feasibility of a perfusion magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique that uses Overhauser dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) to provide contrast during the continuous delivery of hyperpolarized water in rats. Materials and Methods: Protocols approved by the local institutional animal care and use committees were followed. Twelve male Wistar rats were anesthetized and prepared by placing injection tubing in the subcutaneous layer (n = 3), peritoneum (n = 3), aorta (n = 3), or carotid artery (n = 3). Water was hyperpolarized by means of Overhauser DNP in the 0.35-T fringe field of a 1.5-T MR imaging magnet by using a custom-built system to continuously deliver radical-free hyperpolarized water to the subject. Fast gradient-echo and spoiled gradient-recalled-echo MR imaging sequences were used. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the images was calculated and compared. Results: Images showed greatly altered SNR and enhanced flow contrast at all injection locations. For subcutaneous and intraperitoneal injections, the water perfusion trajectory was observed for approximately 5 seconds after injection. Flow through a 4.2-cm length of artery was seen during intra-aortic injection. The right hemisphere of the brain was seen during injection into the right carotid artery. Images with hyperpolarized water had greatly altered SNR compared with images without injection or with the injection of nonhyperpolarized water, with a range of 13%-27% for the carotid and 444%-2900% for the other regions. Conclusion: Perfusion contrast for MR imaging can be obtained by continuously infusing hyperpolarized water, providing localized angiography or brain perfusion information in vivo for rat models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-425
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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