Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) is a relatively new contrast mechanism for MRI. CEST MRI exploits a specific MR frequency (chemical shift) of a molecule while generating an image with good spatial resolution using standard MRI techniques, combining the specificity of MRS with the spatial resolution of MRI. Many CEST MRI acquisition methods have been developed to improve analyses of tumor metabolism. GluCEST, CrCEST, and LATEST can map glutamate, creatine, and lactate, which are important metabolites involved in tumor metabolism. GlucoCEST MRI tracks the pharmacokinetics of glucose transport and cell internalization within tumors. CatalyCEST MRI detects enzyme catalysis that changes a substrate CEST agent. AcidoCEST MRI measures extracellular pH of the tumor microenvironment by exploiting a ratio of two pH-dependent CEST signals. This review describes each technique, the technical issues involved with CEST MRI and each specific technique, and the merits and challenges associated with applying each CEST MRI technique to study tumor metabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging