Feliks Kogan1, 2, Anup Singh1, Mohammad Haris1, Kejia Cai1, Hari Hariharan1, Ravinder Reddy1
1Center for Magnetic Resonance and Optical Imaging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Bioengineering Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Glutamate (Glu) is the primary neurotransmitter that is responsible for excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain stem and spinal cord and plays a wide role in neuropathology. Glu exhibits a CEST effect which is linearly proportional to the Glu concentration. In this work, we demonstrated that it is feasible to detect the CEST effect from glutamate in the cervical spinal cord at 7T with high spatial resolution. We showed that the spinal cord Glu CEST map demonstrates a distinct gray and white matter distribution pattern. Finally, we demonstrated from phantom data that the majority of the CEST contrast in the spinal cord is due to glutamate.