JG Skinner, L Menichetti, A Flori, A Dost, AB Schmidt, M Plaumann, FA Gallagher, J-B Hövener
Mol Imaging Biol
Since reaching the clinic, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an irreplaceable radiological tool because of the macroscopic information it provides across almost all organs and soft tissues within the human body, all without the need for ionising radiation. The sensitivity of MR, however, is too low to take full advantage of the rich chemical information contained in the MR signal. Hyperpolarisation techniques have recently emerged as methods to overcome the sensitivity limitations by enhancing the MR signal by many orders of magnitude compared to the thermal equilibrium, enabling a new class of metabolic and molecular X-nuclei based MR tracers capable of reporting on metabolic processes at the cellular level. These hyperpolarised (HP) tracers have the potential to elucidate the complex metabolic processes of many organs and pathologies, with studies so far focusing on the fields of oncology and cardiology. This review presents an overview of hyperpolarisation techniques that appear most promising for clinical use today, such as dissolution dynamic nuclear polarisation (d-DNP), parahydrogen-induced hyperpolarisation (PHIP), Brute force hyperpolarisation and spin-exchange optical pumping (SEOP), before discussing methods for tracer detection, emerging metabolic tracers and applications and progress in preclinical and clinical application.