Dynamic PCr and pH imaging of human calf muscles during exercise and recovery using (31) P gradient-Echo MRI at 7 Tesla.
Schmid AI., Meyerspeer M., Robinson SD., Goluch S., Wolzt M., Fiedler GB., Bogner W., Laistler E., Krššák M., Moser E., Trattnig S., Valkovič L.
PURPOSE: Simultaneous acquisition of spatially resolved (31) P-MRI data for evaluation of muscle specific energy metabolism, i.e., PCr and pH kinetics. METHODS: A three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo sequence for multiple frequency-selective excitations of the PCr and Pi signals in an interleaved sampling scheme was developed and tested at 7 Tesla (T). The pH values were derived from the chemical shift-induced phase difference between the resonances. The achieved spatial resolution was ∼2 mL with image acquisition time below 6 s. Ten healthy volunteers were studied performing plantar flexions during the delay between (31) P-MRI acquisitions, yielding a temporal resolution of 9-10 s. RESULTS: Signal from anatomically matched regions of interest had sufficient signal-to-noise ratio to allow single-acquisition PCr and pH quantification. The Pi signal was clearly detected in voxels of actively exercising muscles. The PCr depletions were in gastrocnemius 42 ± 14% (medialis), 48 ± 17% (lateralis) and in soleus 20 ± 11%. The end exercise pH values were 6.74 ± 0.18 and 6.65 ± 0.27 for gastrocnemius medialis and lateralis, respectively, and 6.96 ± 0.12 for soleus muscle. CONCLUSION: Simultaneous acquisition of PCr and Pi images with high temporal resolution, suitable for measuring PCr and pH kinetics in exercise-recovery experiments, was demonstrated at 7T. This study presents a fast alternative to MRS for quantifying energy metabolism of posterior muscle groups of the lower leg. Magn Reson Med 75:2324-2331, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.