Multislice proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging permits metabolic analysis of brain tissue in vivo by data acquisition in four oblique axial slices, each 15‐mm thick and divided into 0.8‐ml single‐volume elements. We applied this technique to the systematic study of 25 patients with adrenoleukodystrophy: 3 with the severe childhood or adult cerebral form of the disease, 5 with adrenomyeloneuropathy, 12 with no demonstrable neurological involvement, and 5 women heterozygous for adrenoleukodystrophy who had some degree of neurological disability. Abnormalities on magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging included a reduction in N‐acetyl aspartate, an increase in cholin‐containing compounds, and at times, an increase in lactate. Five patients showed abnormalities in the presence of normal‐appearing magnetic resonance images, and in 8 other patients the alterations on spectroscopic images were more severe than those demonstrable by magnetic resonance imaging. Correlation with clinical course suggests that an increase in the choline‐containing compounds is associated with an active demyelinative process, whereas such compounds are not elevated in lesions that are stable. We conclude that magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging is a more sensitive indicator of early neurological involvement thatn is magnetic resonance imaging, and that the character of abnormalities detected by the former technique may serve as a gauge of the degree of activity of the demyelinating process and as a guide to the selection and evaluation of therapeutic approaches.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology