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Abstract #4003

3D 7Li Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Brain Lithium Distribution in Bipolar Disorder

Fiona Elizabeth Smith1, Peter Edward Thelwall1, Carly Jay Flowers2, Joe Necus2, Andrew Matthew Blamire1, and David Andrew Cousins2

1Institute of Cellular Medicine, Magnetic Resonance Centre, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, 2Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Lithium is a major treatment for bipolar disorder (BD) and the likelihood of a favourable response may be determined by its distribution in the brain. Lithium can be directly detected by magnetic resonance (MR), but this is challenging compared to proton MRI due to lithium’s low therapeutic concentration in brain (<1mM). To overcome this challenge, we implemented a highly efficient balanced steady state free precession (b-SSFP) 7Li-MRI method. We report a 3D 7Li-MRI acquisition with 25mm isotropic resolution, acquired in 8 minutes using a 3T clinical scanner, demonstrating heterogeneity in lithium concentration within the brain in subjects with BD (n=14).

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