Factor analysis of proton MR spectroscopic imaging data in HIV infection: Metabolite-derived factors help identify infection and dementia

Mona A. Mohamed, Margaret R. Lentz, Vallent Lee, Elkan F. Halpern, Ned Sacktor, Ola Selnes, Peter B. Barker, Martin G. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To develop a relevant pathophysiologic model of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated dementia by studying regional variations in metabolite levels measured with magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopic imaging and their relationship to immunologic measures and cognitive dysfunction. Materials and Methods: This was a HIPAA-compliant, institutional review board-approved study involving written informed consent. Distributions of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr) concentrations in 94 subjects (20 seronegative controls and 74 HIV-positive subjects; 34 of the HIV-positive subjects having HIV-associated dementia; 63 men, 31 women; mean age, 40 years) were determined with proton (hydrogen 1 [1H]) MR spectroscopic imaging. HIV-positive subjects underwent neuropsychological testing and blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis. Factor analysis was utilized to determine associations between metabolites across regions. Analysis of variance and t tests were used to isolate differences between cohorts. Results: A "Cho factor" differentiated seronegative controls from HIV-infected cohorts, indicating elevated Cho levels across deep gray and white matter regions of HIV-positive individuals. An "NAA factor" differentiated those with dementia from those without and correlated best with psychomotor and executive function tests. A "Cr factor" indicated Cr elevations correlated with CSF monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 levels. NAA and Cr factor scores were strongly weighted to metabolite changes in white matter regions. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of white matter involvement in HIV-associated dementia and support the current pathogenesis model of glial cell proliferation in HIV infection, denoted by regional Cho elevations, and neuronal dysfunction and/or death, denoted by NAA decreases, associated with dementia. Factor analysis of MR spectroscopic imaging data is a useful method for determining regional metabolic variations in HIV infection and its neuropsychological correlates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-586
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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