Proton imaging of siloxanes to map tissue oxygenation levels (PISTOL): a tool for quantitative tissue oximetry

NMR Biomed. 2008 Oct;21(8):899-907. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1279.


Hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) has been identified as a sensitive proton NMR indicator of tissue oxygenation (pO(2)) based on spectroscopic spin-lattice relaxometry. A rapid MRI approach has now been designed, implemented, and tested. The technique, proton imaging of siloxanes to map tissue oxygenation levels (PISTOL), utilizes frequency-selective excitation of the HMDSO resonance and chemical-shift selective suppression of residual water signal to effectively eliminate water and fat signals and pulse-burst saturation recovery (1)H echo planar imaging to map T(1) of HMDSO and hence pO(2). PISTOL was used here to obtain maps of pO(2) in rat thigh muscle and Dunning prostate R3327 MAT-Lu tumor-implanted rats. Measurements were repeated to assess baseline stability and response to breathing of hyperoxic gas. Each pO(2) map was obtained in 3(1/2) min, facilitating dynamic measurements of response to oxygen intervention. Altering the inhaled gas to oxygen produced a significant increase in mean pO(2) from 55 Torr to 238 Torr in thigh muscle and a smaller, but significant, increase in mean pO(2) from 17 Torr to 78 Torr in MAT-Lu tumors. Thus, PISTOL enabled mapping of tissue pO(2) at multiple locations and dynamic changes in pO(2) in response to intervention. This new method offers a potentially valuable new tool to image pO(2) in vivo for any healthy or diseased state by (1)H MRI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oximetry / methods*
  • Oxygen / analysis*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Protons
  • Rats
  • Siloxanes / analysis*
  • Siloxanes / metabolism*


  • Protons
  • Siloxanes
  • Oxygen