Enhanced fluorine-19 MRI sensitivity using a cryogenic radiofrequency probe: technical developments and ex vivo demonstration in a mouse model of neuroinflammation


  • S. Waiczies
  • J.M. Millward
  • L. Starke
  • P.R. Delgado
  • T. Huelnhagen
  • C. Prinz
  • D. Marek
  • D. Wecker
  • R. Wissmann
  • S.P. Koch
  • P. Boehm-Sturm
  • H. Waiczies
  • T. Niendorf
  • A. Pohlmann


  • Scientific Reports


  • Sci Rep 7 (1): 9808


  • Neuroinflammation can be monitored using fluorine-19 ((19)F)-containing nanoparticles and (19)F MRI. Previously we studied neuroinflammation in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) using room temperature (RT) (19)F radiofrequency (RF) coils and low spatial resolution (19)F MRI to overcome constraints in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This yielded an approximate localization of inflammatory lesions. Here we used a new (19)F transceive cryogenic quadrature RF probe ((19) F-CRP) that provides the SNR necessary to acquire superior spatially-resolved (19)F MRI. First we characterized the signal-transmission profile of the (19) F-CRP. The (19) F-CRP was then benchmarked against a RT (19)F/(1)H RF coil. For SNR comparison we used reference compounds including (19)F-nanoparticles and ex vivo brains from EAE mice administered with (19)F-nanoparticles. The transmit/receive profile of the (19) F-CRP diminished with increasing distance from the surface. This was counterbalanced by a substantial SNR gain compared to the RT coil. Intraparenchymal inflammation in the ex vivo EAE brains was more sharply defined when using 150 μm isotropic resolution with the (19) F-CRP, and reflected the known distribution of EAE histopathology. At this spatial resolution, most (19)F signals were undetectable using the RT coil. The (19) F-CRP is a valuable tool that will allow us to study neuroinflammation with greater detail in future in vivo studies.