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Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 May;27(4):570-6. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Nov 6.

Respiratory motion-corrected proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the liver.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.



To develop a post-processing, respiratory-motion correction algorithm for magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the liver and to determine the incidence and impact of respiratory motion in liver MRS.


One hundred thirty-two subjects (27 healthy, 31 with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and 74 HIV-infected with or without hepatitis C) were scanned with free breathing MRS at 1.5 T. Two spectral time series were acquired on an 8-ml single voxel using TR/TE=2500 ms/30 ms and (1) water suppression, 128 acquisitions, and (2) no water suppression, 8 acquisitions. Individual spectra were phased and frequency aligned to correct for intrahepatic motion. Next, water peaks more than 50% different from the median water peak area were identified and removed, and remaining spectra averaged to correct for presumed extrahepatic motion. Total CH(2)+CH(3) lipids to unsuppressed water ratios were compared before and after corrections.


Intrahepatic-motion correction increased the signal to noise ratio (S/N) in all cases (median=11-fold). Presumed extrahepatic motion was present in 41% (54/132) of the subjects. Its correction altered the lipids/water magnitude (magnitude change: median=2.6%, maximum=290%, and was >5% in 25% of these subjects). The incidence and effect of respiratory motion on lipids/water magnitude were similar among the three groups.


Respiratory-motion correction of free breathing liver MRS greatly increased the S/N and, in a significant number of subjects, changed the lipids/water ratios, relevant for monitoring subjects.

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