Imaging of H217O distribution in the brain of a live rat by using proton-detected 17O MRI

Itamar Ronen, Hellmut Merkle, Kamil Ugurbil, Gil Navon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Imaging of H217O has a number of important applications. Mapping the distribution of H217O produced by oxidative metabolism of 17O-enriched oxygen gas may lead to a new method of metabolic functional imaging; regional cerebral blood flow also can be measured by measuring the H217O distribution after the injection of 17O-enriched physiological saline solution. Previous studies have proposed a method for indirect detection of 17O. The method is based on the shortening of the proton T2 in H217O solutions, caused by the residual 17O-1H scalar coupling and transferred to the bulk water via fast chemical exchange. It has been shown that the proton T2 of H217O solutions can be restored to that of H216O by irradiating the resonance frequency of the 17O nucleus. The indirect 17O image thus is obtained by taking the difference between two T2-weighted spin-echo images: one acquired after irradiation of the 17O resonance and one acquired without irradiation. It also has been established that, at relatively low concentrations of H217O, the indirect method yields an image that quantitatively reflects the H217O distribution in the sample. The method is referred to as PRIMO (proton imaging of oxygen). In this work, we show in vivo proton images of the H217O distribution in a rat brain after an i.v. injection of H217O-enriched physiological saline solution. Implementing the indirect detection method in an echo-planar imaging sequence enabled obtaining H217O images with good spatial and temporal resolution of few seconds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12934-12939
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - 27 Oct 1998


FundersFunder number
National Center for Research ResourcesP41RR008079


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