Quantitative proton MR spectroscopic imaging of normal human cerebellum and brain stem

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Quantitative, multislice proton MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) was used to investigate regional metabolite levels and ratios in the normal adult human posterior fossa. Six normal volunteers (36 ± 3 years, five male, one female) were scanned on a 1.5 T scanner using multislice MRSI at long echo time (TE 280 msec). The entire cerebellum was covered using three oblique-axial slice locations, which also included the pons, midbrain, insular cortex, and parieto-occipital lobe. Concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and creatine (Cr) were estimated using the phantom replacement technique. Regional variations of the concentrations were assessed using ANOVA (P < 0.05). High-resolution MRSI data was obtained in all subjects and brain regions examined. Metabolite concentrations (mM) (mean ± SD) were as follows: cerebellar vermis: 2.3 ± 0.4, 8.8 ± 1.7 and 7.6 ± 1.0 for Cho, Cr, and NAA respectively; cerebellar hemisphere: 2.2 ± 0.6, 8.9 ± 2.1, 7.5 ± 0.8; pons 2.2 ± 0.5, 4.3 ± 1.1, 8.3 ± 0.9; insular cortex, 1.8 ± 0.5, 7.8 ± 2, 8.0 ± 1.1, parieto-occipital gray matter, 1.3 ± 0.3, 5.7 ± 1.1, 7.2 ± 0.9, and occipital white matter, 1.4 ± 0.3, 5.3 ± 1.3, 7.5 ± 0.8. Consistent with previous reports, significantly higher levels of Cr were found in the cerebellum compared to parietooccipital gray and occipital white matter, and pons (P < 0.0001). NAA was essentially uniformly distributed within the regions chosen for analysis, with the highest level in the pons (P < 0.04). Cho was significantly higher in the cerebellum and pons than parieto-occipital gray and occipital white matter (P < 0.002) and was also higher in the pons than in the insular cortex (P < 0.05). Quantitative multislice MRSI of the posterior fossa is feasible and significant regional differences in metabolite concentrations were found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-705
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cerebellum
  • Pons
  • Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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