Every tissue in the body critically depends on meeting its energetic demands with sufficient oxygen supply. Oxygen supply/demand imbalances underlie the diseases that inflict the greatest socioeconomic burden globally. The purpose of this review is to examine how hyperpolarized contrast media, used in combination with MR data acquisition methods, may advance our ability to assess oxygen metabolism non-invasively and thus improve management of clinical disease. We first introduce the concept of hyperpolarization and how hyperpolarized contrast media have been practically implemented to achieve translational and clinical research. We will then analyze how incorporating hyperpolarized contrast media could enable realization of unmet technical needs in clinical practice. We will focus on imaging cardiac and renal oxygen metabolism, as both organs have unique physiological demands to satisfy their requirements for tissue oxygenation, their dysfunction plays a fundamental role in society's most prevalent diseases, and each organ presents unique imaging challenges. It is our aim that this review attracts a multi-disciplinary audience and sparks collaborations that utilize an exciting, emergent technology to advance our ability to treat patients adversely affected by an oxygen supply/demand mismatch.
- ©2016 The Author(s)
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