Glycosaminogycans (GAGs) are involved in numerous vital functions in the human body. Mapping the GAG concentration in vivo is desirable for the diagnosis and monitoring of a number of diseases such as osteoarthritis, which affects millions of individuals. GAG loss in cartilage is typically an initiating event in osteoarthritis. Another widespread pathology related to GAG is intervertebral disk degeneration. Currently existing techniques for GAG monitoring, such as delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI contrast (dGEMRIC), T1p, and 23Na MRI, have some practical limitations. We show that by exploiting the exchangeable protons of GAG one may directly measure the localized GAG concentration in vivo with high sensitivity and therefore obtain a powerful diagnostic MRI method.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 19 Feb 2008