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PURPOSE: To demonstrate the feasibility of imaging the first passage of a bolus of hyperpolarized (13)C urea through the rodent heart using flow-sensitizing gradients to reduce signal from the blood pool. METHODS: A flow-sensitizing bipolar gradient was optimized to reduce the bright signal within the cardiac chambers, enabling improved contrast of the agent within the tissue capillary bed. The gradient was incorporated into a dynamic golden angle spiral (13)C imaging sequence. Healthy rats were scanned during rest (n = 3) and under adenosine stress-induced hyperemia (n = 3). RESULTS: A two-fold increase in myocardial perfusion relative to rest was detected during adenosine stress-induced hyperemia, consistent with a myocardial perfusion reserve of two in rodents. CONCLUSION: The new pulse sequence was used to obtain dynamic images of the first passage of hyperpolarized (13)C urea in the rodent heart, without contamination from bright signal within the neighboring cardiac lumen. This probe of myocardial perfusion is expected to enable new hyperpolarized (13)C studies in which the cardiac metabolism/perfusion mismatch can be identified. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance.

Original publication




Journal article


Magn Reson Med

Publication Date





1474 - 1483


13C, cardiac, first-pass perfusion, hyperpolarization, urea, Animals, Carbon Isotopes, Heart, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Male, Myocardial Perfusion Imaging, Phantoms, Imaging, Rats, Rats, Wistar, Signal-To-Noise Ratio, Urea