A Feasibility study of quantitative molecular characterization of musculoskeletal lesions by proton MR spectroscopy at 3 T

Laura M. Fayad, Xin Wang, Nouha Salibi, Peter B. Barker, Michael A. Jacobs, Antonio J. Machado, Kristy L. Weber, David A. Bluemke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study is to establish the feasibility and potential value of measuring the concentration of choline-containing compounds by proton MR spectroscopy (MRS) in musculoskeletal lesions at 3 T. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. Thirty-three subjects with 34 musculoskeletal lesions (four histologically proven malignant, 13 histologically proven benign or proven benign by follow-up analysis, and 17 posttreatment fibrosis with documented stability for 6-36 months) underwent single-voxel 3-T MRS studies. In each case, both water-suppressed and water-unsuppressed scans were obtained. The quality of the scans was recorded as excellent, adequate, or nondiagnostic, and the choline concentration was measured using water as the internal reference. The choline concentrations of benign and malignant lesions were compared using the Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS. Spectral quality was excellent in 26 cases, adequate in four cases, and nondiagnostic in four cases. For malignant lesions (three sarcomas), the choline concentrations were 1.5, 2.9, and 3.8 mmol/kg, respectively. For five benign lesions (two neurofibromas, two schwannomas, and one enchondroma), the choline concentrations were 0.11, 0.28, 0.13, 0.8, and 1.2 mmol/kg, respectively. For seven benign lesions (two hematomas, two bone cysts, one lipoma, one giant cell tumor, and one pigmented villonodular synovitis), the spectra showed negligible choline content. For three posttreatment fibrosis cases, the choline concentration range was 0.2-0.4 mmol/kg. For the remaining 12 posttreatment fibrosis cases, the spectra showed negligible choline content. Average choline concentrations were different for malignant and benign lesions (2.7 vs 0.5 mmol/kg; p = 0.01). CONCLUSION. The measurement of choline concentration within musculoskeletal lesions by MRS is feasible using an internal water-referencing method at 3 T and has potential for characterizing lesions for malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)W69-W75
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Bone mass
  • MR spectroscopy
  • MRI
  • Musculoskeletal neoplasm
  • Soft-tissue mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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