Creatine, a key component of muscle energy metabolism, exhibits a chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) effect between its amine group and bulk water, which has been exploited to spatially and temporally map creatine changes in skeletal muscle before and after exercise. In addition, exercise leads to an increase in muscle perfusion. In this work, we determined the effects of perfused blood on the CEST effects from creatine in skeletal muscle. Experiments were performed on healthy human subjects (n = 5) on a whole-body Siemens 7T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner with a 28-channel radiofrequency (RF) coil. Reactive hyperemia, induced by inflation and subsequent deflation of a pressure cuff secured around the thigh, was used to increase tissue perfusion whilst maintaining the levels of creatine kinase metabolites. CEST, arterial spin labeling (ASL) and (31) P MRS data were acquired at baseline and for 6 min after cuff deflation. Reactive hyperemia resulted in substantial increases in perfusion in human skeletal muscle of the lower leg as measured by the ASL mean percentage difference. However, no significant changes in CrCEST asymmetry (CrCESTasym ) or (31) P MRS-derived PCr levels of skeletal muscle were observed following cuff deflation. This work demonstrates that perfusion changes do not have a major confounding effect on CrCEST measurements.
View details for DOI 10.1002/nbm.3673
View details for PubMedID 27898185