Paramagnetic chemical exchange saturation transfer agents combine the benefits of a large chemical shift difference and a fast exchange rate for sensitive MRI detection. However, the in vivo detection of these agents is hampered by the need for high B(1) fields to allow sufficiently fast saturation before exchange occurs, thus causing interference of large magnetization transfer effects from semisolid macromolecules. A recently developed approach named frequency-labeled exchange transfer utilizes excitation pulses instead of saturation pulses for detecting the exchanging protons. Using solutions and gel phantoms containing the europium (III) complex of DOTA tetraglycinate (EuDOTA-(gly)(-) (4) ), it is shown that frequency-labeled exchange transfer allows the separation of chemical exchange effects and magnetization transfer (MT) effects in the time domain, therefore allowing the study of the individual resonance of rapidly exchanging water molecules (k(ex) >10(4) s(-1) ) without interference from conventional broad-band MT.
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