Multimodality In Vivo Imaging of Perfusion and Glycolysis in a Rat Model of C6 Glioma

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Molecular Imaging and Biology





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Purpose: Chemical exchange saturation transfer MRI using an infusion of glucose (glucoCEST) is sensitive to the distribution of glucose in vivo; however, whether glucoCEST is more related to perfusion or glycolysis is still debatable. We compared glucoCEST to computed tomography perfusion (CTP), [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET), and hyperpolarized [1-13C] pyruvate magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) in a C6 rat model of glioma to determine if glucoCEST is more strongly correlated with measurements of perfusion or glycolysis. Methods: 106 C6 glioma cells were implanted in Wistar rat brains (n = 11). CTP (including blood volume, BV; blood flow, BF; and permeability surface area product, PS) and FDG-PET standardized uptake value (SUV) were acquired at 11 to 13 days post-surgery. GlucoCEST measurements (∆CEST) were acquired the following day on a 9.4 T MRI before and after an infusion of glucose solution. This was followed by MRSI on a 3.0 T MRI after the injection of hyperpolarized [1-13C] pyruvate to generate regional maps of the lactate:pyruvate ratio (Lac:Pyr). Pearson’s correlations between glucoCEST, CTP, FDG-PET, and Lac:Pyr ratio were evaluated. Results: Tumors had significantly higher SUV, BV, and PS than the contralateral brain. Tumor ∆CEST was most strongly correlated with CTP measurements of BV (ρ = 0.74, P = 0.01) and PS (ρ = 0.55, P = 0.04). No significant correlation was found between glycolysis measurements of SUV or Lac:Pyr with tumor ∆CEST. PS significantly correlated with SUV (ρ = 0.58, P = 0.005) and Lac:Pyr (ρ = 0.75, P = 0.005). BV significantly correlated with Lac:Pyr (ρ = 0.57, P = 0.02), and BF significantly correlated with SUV (ρ = 0.49, P = 0.02). Conclusion: This study determined that glucoCEST is more strongly correlated to measurements of perfusion than glycolysis. GlucoCEST measurements have additional confounds, such as sensitivity to changing pH, that merit additional investigation.

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