Measuring the link between cardiac mechanical function and metabolism during hyperpolarized 13C-pyruvate magnetic resonance experiments

Gregory P. Barton, Erin B. Macdonald, Kara N. Goss, Marlowe W. Eldridge, Sean B. Fain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The goal of this study was to develop a methodology to investigate the relationship between contractile function and hyperpolarized (HP) [1-13C]pyruvate metabolism in a small animal model. To achieve sufficient signal from HP 13C compounds, HP 13C MRS/MRSI has required relatively large infusion volumes relative to the total blood volume in small animal models, which may affect cardiac function. Methods: Eight female Sprague Dawley rats were imaged on a 4.7T scanner with a dual tuned 1H/13C volume coil. ECG and respiratory gated k-t spiral MRSI and an IDEAL based reconstruction to determine [1-13C]pyruvate metabolism in the myocardium. This was coupled with 1H cine MRI to determine ventricular volumes and mechanical function pre- and post-infusion of [1-13C]pyruvate. For comparison to the [1-13C]pyruvate experiments, three female Sprague Dawley rats were imaged with 1H cine MRI to determine myocardial function pre- and post-saline infusion. Results: We demonstrated significant changes in cardiac contractile function between pre- and post-infusion of [1-13C]pyruvate. Specifically, there was an increase in end-diastolic volume (EDV), stroke volume (SV), and ejection fraction (EF). Additionally, the ventricular vascular coupling ratio (VVCR) showed an improvement after [1-13C]pyruvate infusion, indicating increased systolic performance due to an increased arterial load. There was a moderate to strong relationship between the downstream metabolic conversion of pyruvate to bicarbonate and a strong relationship between the conversion of pyruvate to lactate and the cardiac mechanical function response. Conclusion: The infusion of [1-13C]pyruvate resulted in demonstrable increases in contractile function which was related to pyruvate conversion to bicarbonate and lactate. The combined effects of the infusion volume and inotropic effects of pyruvate metabolism likely explains the augmentation in myocardial mechanical function seen in these experiments. Given the relationship between pyruvate metabolism and contractile function observed in this study, this methodological approach may be utilized to better understand cardiac metabolic and functional remodeling in heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
StatePublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon-13
  • Contractile function
  • Hyperpolarized
  • K-t spiral
  • MRSI
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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