Recent animal studies have shown that D-glucose is a potential biodegradable MRI contrast agent for imaging glucose uptake in tumors. Here, we show the first translation of that use of D-glucose to human studies. Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) MRI at a single frequency offset optimized for detection of hydroxyl protons in D-glucose (glucoCEST) was used to image dynamic signal changes in the human brain at 7T during and after infusion of D-glucose. Dynamic glucose-enhanced (DGE) image data from four normal volunteers and three glioma patients showed strong signal enhancement in blood vessels, while the enhancement varied spatially over the tumor. Areas of enhancement differed spatially between DGE and conventional Gd-enhanced imaging, suggesting complementary image information content for these two types of agents. In addition, different tumor areas enhanced with D-glucose at different times post-infusion, suggesting a sensitivity to perfusion-related properties such as substrate delivery and blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability. These preliminary results suggest that DGE MRI is feasible to study glucose uptake in humans, providing a time-dependent set of data that contains information regarding arterial input function (AIF), tissue perfusion, glucose transport across the BBB and cell membrane, and glucose metabolism.
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