Purpose: We investigated the feasibility of performing chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging using ytterbium-based paramagnetic CEST (PARACEST) agents on a clinical magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. Materials and Methods: We prepared solutions of 3 different ytterbium-based PARA-CEST agents at concentrations of 5, 10, 20, and 50 mM at a pH of 7.4 and at a concentration of 50 mM at pHs of 3.0, 5.0, 7.4, and 9.5. We acquired images with a turbo spin echo technique using a quadrature head coil and a clinical 3.0-tesla MR system in accordance with the safety limits of the specific absorption rate (SAR). We acquired CEST images with presaturation offset frequencies from -5,000 Hz (-39.1 ppm) to 5,000 Hz (39.1 ppm) with an interval of 500 Hz (3.9 ppm) for each condition. We repeated each scan 3 times and then calculated the mean and standard deviations of the magnitude of the CEST effect at different concentrations and pH values for each agent. We used one-way analysis of variance and Tukey's honestly significant difference post hoc test to compare mean values of the magnitude of the CEST effect obtained at different concentrations and pH values. P o0.05 was considered significant. Results: PARACEST agents showed a strong CEST effect at their specific presaturation offset frequencies. For each agent, the CEST effect showed significant concentration dependency (P o0.05), increasing with agent concentration, and significant pH dependency (P o0.05), with strong effect near physiological pH. Conclusion: CEST imaging using ytterbium-based PARACEST agents might be feasible on a clinical MR scanner with further modifications, such as adjustments of the presaturation radiofrequency pulse and imaging protocols.
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