Manual and semi-automatic quantification of in vivo 1H-MRS data for the classification of human primary brain tumors

S. Cuellar-Baena, L. M.T.S. Morais, F. Cendes, A. V. Faria, G. Castellano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) is a technique capable of assessing biochemical content and pathways in normal and pathological tissue. In the brain, 1H-MRS complements the information given by magnetic resonance images. The main goal of the present study was to assess the accuracy of 1H-MRS for the classification of brain tumors in a pilot study comparing results obtained by manual and semi-automatic quantification of metabolites. In vivo single-voxel 1H-MRS was performed in 24 control subjects and 26 patients with brain neoplasms that included meningiomas, high-grade neuroglial tumors and pilocytic astrocytomas. Seven metabolite groups (lactate, lipids, N-acetyl-aspartate, glutamate and glutamine group, total creatine, total choline, myo-inositol) were evaluated in all spectra by two methods: a manual one consisting of integration of manually defined peak areas, and the advanced method for accurate, robust and efficient spectral fitting (AMARES), a semi-automatic quantification method implemented in the jMRUI software. Statistical methods included discriminant analysis and the leave-one-out cross-validation method. Both manual and semi-automatic analyses detected differences in metabolite content between tumor groups and controls (P < 0.005). The classification accuracy obtained with the manual method was 75% for high-grade neuroglial tumors, 55% for meningiomas and 56% for pilocytic astrocytomas, while for the semi-automatic method it was 78, 70, and 98%, respectively. Both methods classified all control subjects correctly. The study demonstrated that 1H-MRS accurately differentiated normal from tumoral brain tissue and confirmed the superiority of the semi-automatic quantification method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-353
Number of pages9
JournalBrazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumors
  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Tumor classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Cell Biology


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