Pratip Bhattacharya1, Niki M. Zacharias1, Napapon Sailasuta1, Henry R. Chan1, William H. Perman2, Alan L. Epstein3, Brian D. Ross1
1Enhanced MR Laboratory, Huntington Medical Research Institutes, Pasadena, CA, United States; 2Department of Medical Physics, St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, United States; 3Department of Pathology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Real time metabolic imaging of the brain by MR opens up exciting applications for early detection and treatment monitoring of stroke, brain tumors and Alzheimers Disease. The main limitation for imaging agents to be used in the brain is their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The neutral compound hyperpolarized diethyl succinate has the potential of being an affective imaging agent for the brain. Diethyl 1-13C 2,3-d2 succinate is generated through the hydrogenation of diethyl 1-13C 2,3-d2 fumarate and hyperpolarized by PHIP (parahydrogen induced polarization) method, which increases the 13C MR signal by 5000 fold. In the research described here, we have employed hyperpolarized diethyl succinate to detect metabolism in a rat brain as well as to demonstrate that the compound crosses the BBB in real time.