Non-Invasive Physiology and Pharmacology Using 19F Magnetic Resonance

Jian Xin Yu, Weina Cui, Dawen Zhao, Ralph P. Mason

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

18 Scopus citations


MRI has become the technology of choice for radiology and detection of many diseases. Clinical MRI uses almost exclusively the proton nucleus of the hydrogen atom, which occurs naturally in tissue water. Thus, there is a particularly strong signal, which is sensitive to tissue status and provides exquisite indications of soft tissue anatomy. Increasingly, the development of specific contrast agents and selective pulse sequences allows more detailed analysis of tissue properties such as diffusion, flow, and changes in vascular oxygenation. 19F provides a powerful tool for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) investigations. It has been widely exploited for both spectroscopic studies and increasingly for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The 19F atom has high NMR sensitivity while there is essentially no background signal in the body. Many diverse reporter molecules have been designed, which exploit the unique sensitivity of the fluorine atom to its microenvironment and these cover such diverse aspects as pO2, pH, metal ion concentrations (e.g., calcium, magnesium), gene reporter molecules, hypoxia reporters, vascular flow, and volume. To date, clinical application is hindered by the lack of availability of clinical 19F NMR, but manufacturers are increasingly recognizing the value of including such capability. Given that 19F NMR offers the potential to investigate many diverse parameters, it will become increasingly available and useful in the future. This chapter examines the properties of the fluorine atom that make it an ideal tool for NMR, consider the many properties that are available for interrogation and examine applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFluorine and Health
Number of pages80
ISBN (Print)9780444530868
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by the Cancer Imaging Program, NCI Pre‐ICMIC P20 CA086354, SAIRP U24 CA126608 and IDEA awards from the DOD Breast Cancer Initiative DAMD 17‐99‐1‐9381, and 17‐03‐1‐0343 and Prostate Cancer Initiative W81XWH‐06‐1‐0149. NMR experiments were conducted at the Mary Nell and Ralph B. Rogers NMR Center, an NIH BTRP facility #P41‐RR02584. We are grateful to Drs. Mark Jeffrey, Himu Shukla, and Peter Peschke, for collegial support and allowing us to include unpublished collaborative studies here. Melody Simmons provided expert assistance in preparing this manuscript. Over the past 15 years, our development of expertise in 19 F NMR has been supported by the NIH, Department of Defense Breast and Prostate Cancer Initiatives, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and The Whitaker Foundation.


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