JAM Bastiaansen, HAI Yoshihara, A Capozzi, J Schwitter, R Gruetter, ME Merritt, A Comment
Magn Reson Med
PURPOSE: To probe the cardiac metabolism of carbohydrates and short chain fatty acids simultaneously in vivo following the injection of a hyperpolarized 13 C-labeled substrate mixture prepared using photo-induced nonpersistent radicals. METHODS: Droplets of mixed [1-13 C]pyruvic and [1-13 C]butyric acids were frozen into glassy beads in liquid nitrogen. Ethanol addition was investigated as a means to increase the polarization level. The beads were irradiated with ultraviolet light and the radical concentration was measured by ESR spectroscopy. Following dynamic nuclear polarization in a 7T polarizer, the beads were dissolved, and the radical-free hyperpolarized solution was rapidly transferred into an injection pump located inside a 9.4T scanner. The hyperpolarized solution was injected in healthy rats to measure cardiac metabolism in vivo. RESULTS: Ultraviolet irradiation created nonpersistent radicals in a mixture containing 13 C-labeled pyruvic and butyric acids, and enabled the hyperpolarization of both substrates by dynamic nuclear polarization. Ethanol addition increased the radical concentration from 16 to 26 mM. Liquid-state 13 C polarization was 3% inside the pump at the time of injection, and increased to 5% by addition of ethanol to the substrate mixture prior to ultraviolet irradiation. In the rat heart, the in vivo 13 C signals from lactate, alanine, bicarbonate, and acetylcarnitine were detected following the metabolism of the injected substrate mixture. CONCLUSION: Copolarization of two different 13 C-labeled substrates and the detection of their myocardial metabolism in vivo was achieved without using persistent radicals. The absence of radicals in the solution containing the hyperpolarized 13 C-substrates may simplify the translation to clinical use, as no radical filtration is required prior to injection.