Wen Ling1, Galit Saar2, Ravinder R. Regatte3, Alexej Jerschow4, Gil Navon2
1CMRR, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA; 2School of Chem., Tel Aviv Univ., Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel; 3Dept. of Radiology, NYU, New York, NY, USA; 4Chem. Dept., NYU, NYU, NY, USA
Synopsis: The loss of the proteoglycans is thought to be an initiating event of disc degeneration. Therefore, the ability to detect these early events is of crucial importance to facilitate earlier intervention, to monitor the effectiveness of treatments, and to study the mechanism of disease progression. We demonstrate here the possibility of a MRI strategy based on glycosaminoglycan chemical exchange saturation transfer (gagCEST), which would allow one to detect the loss of proteoglycans within the disc. Our results show that gagCEST can be used to monitor early signs of disc degeneration.