Amide proton transfer (APT) imaging of brain tumors at 7 T: The role of tissue water T1 -Relaxation properties

Khlebnikov, V, Polders, Daniel, Hendrikse, J, Robe, Pierre A. , Voormolen, Eduard H, Luijten, Peter R, Klomp, DWJ, Hoogduin, Hans


Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 77 (4), p. 1525–1532


PURPOSE: To provide insight into the effect of water T1 relaxation (T1wat ) on amide proton transfer (APT) contrast in tumors. Three different metrics of APT contrast-magnetization transfer ratio (MTRRex ), relaxation-compensated MTRRex (AREX), and traditional asymmetry (MTRasym )-were compared in normal and tumor tissues in a variety of intracranial tumors at 7 Tesla (T).

METHODS: Six consented intracranial tumor patients were scanned using a low-power, three-dimensional (3D) APT imaging sequence. MTRRex and MTRasym were calculated in the region of 3 to 4 ppm. AREX was calculated by T1wat correction of MTRRex . Tumor tissue masks, which classify different tumor tissues, were drawn by an experienced neuroradiologist. ROI-averaged tumor tissue analysis was done for MTRRex , AREX, and MTRasym .

RESULTS: MTRRex and MTRasym were slightly elevated in tumor-associated structures. Both metrics were positively correlated to T1wat . The correlation coefficient (R) was determined to be 0.88 (P < 0.05) and 0.92 (P < 0.05) for MTRRex and MTRasym , respectively. After T1wat correction (R = -0.21, P = 0.69), no difference between normal and tumor tissues was found for AREX.

CONCLUSIONS: The strong correlation of MTRRex and MTRasym with T1wat and the absence thereof in AREX suggests that much of APT contrast in tumors for the low-power, 3D-acquisition scheme at 7 T originates from the inherent tissue water T1 -relaxation properties.