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Eur J Radiol. 2008 Aug;67(2):275-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2008.02.032. Epub 2008 Apr 10.

(1)H MR spectroscopy of skeletal muscle, liver and bone marrow.

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  • 1Section on Experimental Radiology, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Eberhard-Karls University Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany. <>


Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) offers interesting metabolic information even from organs outside the brain. In the first part, applications in skeletal muscle for determination of intramyocellular lipids (IMCL), which are involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, are described. Peculiarities of spectral pattern are discussed and studies for short-term regulation of IMCL, as dietary intervention, exercise and fasting are presented. The second part deals with quantification of small amounts of lipids in the liver (hepatic lipids, HL), which is also of increasing interest in the field of diabetes research. Recommendations for correct assessment of spectra in this "moving organ" are given and the importance of HL is described by examples of a cohort at increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Regulation of HL is described on the basis of a few studies. The third part concentrates on spectral characterization of bone marrow. Peripheral bone marrow of adults consists mainly of fat, while central marrow regions in the pelvis, spinal column and breast bone (and the peripheral bone marrow of children as well) contribute to blood formation and show a variable composition of adipocytes (fat cells), interstitial fluid and water containing precursor cells for erythrocytes, leucocytes and thrombocytes. Adapted (1)H spectroscopic techniques allow a semi-quantitative analysis of bone marrow composition.

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