Improved sensitivity of proton MR to oxygen-17 as a contrast agent using fast imaging: Detection in brain
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The potential utility of H2(17)O as a contrast agent has been demonstrated in biological solutions and isolated tissues but its use has been impaired by the need to run heavily T2-weighted spin-echo images. By choosing an appropriate steady-state free precession experiment sensitive to T1/T2, we have improved the available contrast-to-noise per unit time by more than a factor of 5. This allows easy measurement of the proton effects for concentrations as low as 0.4% H2(17)O in less than 1 min. Injection into small animals produces a marked reduction in the overall image intensity. Consecutive imaging at the rate of one every 52 s has been used to follow the rate of change in brain image intensity immediately after injection.
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