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Neuroradiology. 2000 May;42(5):333-8.

Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy reflects cellular proliferative activity in astrocytomas.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


We examined whether proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) could provide accurate information on histological grade and cell proliferation in astrocytomas. We studied 23 patients with astrocytomas: five grade II, 10 grade III and eight with grade IV (glioblastoma multiforme). We performed proton MRS and determined the Ki-67 labeling index (LI), a tumour proliferation marker, in the same areas of the astrocytomas, and examined the statistical relationship between proton MRS and Ki-67 LI. The N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine-phosphocreatine (Cr) and NAA/choline (Cho)-containing compound ratios were always significantly lower and the Cho/Cr ratios significantly higher than those for normal brain. The Cho/Cr ratio correlated positively and the NAA/Cho ratio inversely with Ki-67 LI. These findings suggest that the Cho signal in proton MRS reflects cellular proliferation. In Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, there was no significant difference between high (> 2.0, 14 cases) and low (< 2.0, 9 cases) Cho/cr ratio groups.

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