Manually Adjusted Versus Vendor-Preset Definition of Metabolite Boundaries. Impact on Proton Metabolite Ratios

Myria Petrou, Pia C. Sundgren, Yuxi Pang, Suzan Rohrer, Bradley Foerster, Thomas L. Chenevert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives: Metabolite peak boundary definition is an important postprocessing step in proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). We compare metabolite ratios calculated using three different postprocessing strategies: software-rendered default peak boundaries, manually adjusted peak boundaries and a curve-fitting program. The first two of these methods are commercially available. Materials and Methods: A total of 42 spectra acquired on a 1.5-T MR unit using two-dimensional chemical shift proton MR spectroscopy (TR/TE = 1500/144 ms) were analyzed. Choline (Cho), creatine (Cr), and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) relative concentrations were derived and the following metabolite ratios were calculated: Cho/Cr, Cho/NAA, and NAA/Cr. Metabolite concentrations/ratios were calculated using (a) default peak boundaries rendered by commercially available, postprocessing software (Functool 2000, version 2.6.0); (b) manually adjusted peak boundaries by an experienced spectroscopist, using an option offered by the same commercially available software; and (c) an offline in-house curve-fitting program. Measurements obtained with method (c) were considered as the "gold standard." Paired t-tests comparing default and adjusted metabolite ratios, as well as default and adjusted ratios with their respective curve-fit values were used for statistical analysis. Results: Significant differences between default and manually adjusted values were found for Cho/Cr ratios <1.5 and for all Cho/NAA ratios. For Cho/Cr ratios <1.5, significant differences between default and curve-fit values were present; this was not the case when comparing manually adjusted and curve-fit values. Default and manually adjusted Cho/NAA ratios were significantly higher than corresponding curve-fit ratios. Manually adjusted values were, however, closer to the curve-fit values. No significant differences were noted between default and adjusted NAA/Cr values; default and manually adjusted ratios were significantly lower than curve-fit ratios. Conclusion: There can be significant differences in metabolite ratios calculated using default and manually adjusted peak limits in proton MR spectroscopy. Furthermore, Cho/Cr and NAA/Cho adjusted metabolite ratios are closer to curve-fit values, which are considered the most accurate of the three.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-343
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • metabolite ratios
  • post-processing
  • proton MR spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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