Hyperpolarized MRI Technology Resource Center

Our center is dedicated to the development of state-of-the-art imaging techniques, particularly on instruments that will use Carbon-13 based compounds. Our aim is at disseminating optimal new hyperpolarized (HP) 13C MR technologies with optimal training/documentation to advance these emerging molecular imaging methods. Hyperpolarized 13C MR has outstanding research and clinical value, however most aspects of this technology (instrumentation, agent chemistry, DNP/dissolution methodology, MR acquisition, and data analysis) are currently suboptimal and require focused technological development to realize their full potential. The center includes three Technology Research & Development (TR&D) projects led by experienced hyperpolarized MR researchers.


Featured Publication*

Hyperpolarized 1-[13C]-Pyruvate Magnetic Resonance Imaging Detects an Early Metabolic Response to Androgen Ablation Therapy in Prostate Cancer

​Authors:  Aggarwal R, Vigneron DB, Kurhanewicz J

Hyperpolarized (HP) 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) is a novel imaging technique that allows rapid and noninvasive monitoring of dynamic pathway-specific metabolic and physiologic processes [1] with unprecedented gain in sensitivity (10 000–200 000 fold increase) for imaging of 13C-labeled biomolecules that are endogenous, nontoxic, and nonradioactive [2,3]. We previously reported the first-in-human phase 1 clinical study of HP [13C]-pyruvate MRSI in patients with prostate cancer on active surveillance, and confirmed the feasibility of capturing regions of accelerated HP pyruvate-to-lactate flux in high-grade versus low-grade cancer versus benign tissue [4].

Here we describe the first results demonstrating the metabolic response to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) using HP [13C]-pyruvate MRSI. The patient presented with serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) of 25.2 ng/ml and Gleason 4 + 5 prostate adenocarcinoma on biopsy. Cross-sectional imaging demonstrated metastases within the pelvic nodes and osseous structures. Baseline multiparametric (mp) 1H MRI of the prostate (anatomic imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging [DWI], dynamic contrast-enhanced [DCE] imaging, and 3D 1H MRSI) with HP [13C]-pyruvate revealed a bulky tumor involving the left apex, mid gland, and base peripheral and transition zones, and right apex, mid gland, and base peripheral zone, measuring 4.5 × 1.5 × 5.1 cm3. T2-weighted MRI showed a well-defined focus of low signal intensity (T2 score 5/5; Fig. 1A). The lesion also had marked restricted diffusion (DWI score 5/5; apparent diffusion coefficient [ADC] 930) and was DCE-positive, with increased uptake and washout of contrast agent, and MRSI-positive, with elevated choline and reduced citrate on 1H MRSI. The overall Prostate Imaging-Reporting and Data System v.2 score was 5.  Click on image to access publication in PubMed.  PMID: 28765011

*Hyperpolarized 1-[13C]-Pyruvate Magnetic Resonance Imaging Detects an Early Metabolic Response to Androgen Ablation Therapy in Prostate Cancer.  2017


***Please acknowledge NIBIB P41EB013598 in any publications that have benefitted from this center***   


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***If you would like to donate to the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging or to Dr. Daniel Vigneron, please complete the online giving form. To support this new imaging development, under choose a designation, select "other" and enter Dr. Daniel Vigneron. Your kind contribution and support is greatly appreciated by the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and the HMTRC Executive Members.***