PURPOSE: Calibration of hyperpolarized 13 C-MRI is limited by the low signal from endogenous carbon-containing molecules and consequently requires 13 C-enriched external phantoms. This study investigated the feasibility of using either 23 Na-MRI or 1 H-MRI to calibrate the 13 C excitation.
METHODS: Commercial 13 C-coils were used to estimate the transmit gain and center frequency for 13 C and 23 Na resonances. Simulations of the transmit B1 profile of a Helmholtz loop were performed. Noise correlation was measured for both nuclei. A retrospective analysis of human data assessing the use of the 1 H resonance to predict [1-13 C]pyruvate center frequency was also performed. In vivo experiments were undertaken in the lower limbs of 6 pigs following injection of hyperpolarized 13 C-pyruvate.
RESULTS: The difference in center frequencies and transmit gain between tissue 23 Na and [1-13 C]pyruvate was reproducible, with a mean scale factor of 1.05179 ± 0.00001 and 10.4 ± 0.2 dB, respectively. Utilizing the 1 H water peak, it was possible to retrospectively predict the 13 C-pyruvate center frequency with a standard deviation of only 11 Hz sufficient for spectral-spatial excitation-based studies.
CONCLUSION: We demonstrate the feasibility of using the 23 Na and 1 H resonances to calibrate the 13 C transmit B1 using commercially available 13 C-coils. The method provides a simple approach for in vivo calibration and could improve clinical workflow.
Bibliographical note© 2020 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.