To test the hypothesis that T2 signals in lesions and normal-appearing tissue are sufficiently similar that signal variations represent true variations in metabolite concentration. Materials and Methods: The T2 di stributions of N-acetylaspartate(NAA), creatine (Cr), and choline (Cho) at 3.0 T were mapped in the brain of 10 relapsing-remitting (RR) MS patients of 0.3-12 years disease duration with multivoxel (four sections of 80 1-cm3 voxels) point-resolved proton spectroscopy imaging in a two-point protocol. Institutional review board approval and written informed consent were obtained; the study was Health Insurance Portability and Accountability-compliant. Mixed-model analysis of variance was performed to compare brain regions and lesion types for each metabolite;a Wilcoxon test was performed to compare observed T2 values with age-based predictions. Results:The T2 histograms from 320 voxels in each patient were similar in peak position for mean values (± standard error) for NAA (250 msec ± 9), Cr (166 msec ± 3), and Cho (221 msec ± 6); shape was characterized by full width at half maximum values of 174 msec ± 11, 98 msec ± 3, and 143 msec 6 5, respectively. Regional T2 values in white matter (WM;298 msec ± 6, 162 msec 6 1, and 222 msec ± 4 for NAA, Cr, and Cho, respectively) were all significantly longer than in gray matter (GM;221 msec ± 7, 143 msec ± 4, and 205 msec ± 8, respectively) but not different from isointense (313 msec ± 24, 188 msec ± 12, and 238 msec ± 17, respectively) or hypointense (296 msec ± 27, 163 msec ± 12, and 199 msec ± 12, respectively) lesions, except for the Cho value for hypointense lesion, which was significantly lower. When compared with corresponding values in healthy contemporaries, these T2 values were shorter by 18%, 8%, and 14% in GM and by 21%, 12%, and 13% in WM for NAA, Cr, and Cho, respectively. Conclusion:For the purpose of metabolic quantification at 3.0 T and echo times of less than 100 msec, an average T2 value per metabolite should suffice for any brain region and lesion regardless of disease duration, age, or disability in any RR MS patient and their controls.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging