Human brain-structure resolved T2 relaxation times of proton metabolites at 3 Tesla

Wafaa Zaaraoui, Lazar Fleysher, Roman Fleysher, Songtao Liu, Brian J. Soher, Oded Gonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The transverse relaxation times, T2, of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), total choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr) obtained at 3T in several human brain regions of eight healthy volunteers are reported. They were obtained simultaneously in 320 voxels with three-dimensional (3D) proton MR spectroscopy (1H-MRS) at 1 cm3 spatial resolution. A two-point protocol, optimized for the least error per given time by adjusting both the echo delay (TEi) and number of averages, Ni, at each point, was used. Eight healthy subjects (four males and four females, age = 26 ± 2 years) underwent the hour-long procedure of four 15-min, 3D acquisitions (TE1 = 35 ms, N1 = 1; and TE2 = 285 ms, N2 = 3). The results reveal that across all subjects the NAA and Cr T2s in gray matter (GM) structures (226 ± 17 and 137 ± 12 ms, respectively) were 13-17% shorter than the corresponding T 2s in white matter (WM; 264 ± 10 and 155 ± 7 ms, respectively). The T2s of Cho did not differ between GM and WM (207 ± 17 and 202 ± 8, respectively). For the purpose of metabolic quantification, these values justify to within ± 10% the previous use of one T2 per metabolite for 1) the entire brain and 2) all subjects. These T2 values (which to our knowledge were obtained for the first time at this field, spatial resolution, coverage, and precision) are essential for reliable absolute metabolic quantification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-989
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • 3T
  • Gray and white matter
  • H MR spectroscopy
  • Human brain metabolites
  • T relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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