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Abstract #2237

Ammonia-weighted imaging by chemical exchange saturation transfer – MRI at 3 T

Helge Jörn Zöllner1,2, Markus Butz1, Gerald Kircheis3, Stefan Klinker4, Dieter Häussinger3, Benjamin Schmitt5, Alfons Schnitzler1, and Hans-Jörg Wittsack2

1Institute of Clincial Neuroscience and Medical Psychology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, 3Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Infectiology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, 4Institute of Physical Biology, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany, 5160 Herring Road, Siemens Healthcare Pty Ltd., Macquarie Park NSW 2113, Australia

Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) is an advanced MR contrast, which is sensitive to metabolic parameters as pH or protein content. The present study shows the ammonia-sensitivity of amide proton CEST imaging at a fixed pH value. The in vivo applicability is tested in a population of patients suffering from hepatic encephalopathy (HE), which is linked to ammonia accumulation within the brain. In HE, the CEST signal is especially reduced within occipital and cerebral regions. This reduction may be related to increased ammonia levels in HE patients.

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