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Gen Physiol Biophys. 2005 Sep;24(3):327-35.

In vitro study of astrocytic tumour metabolism by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

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Department of Biochemistry, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Malá Hora 4, 037 54 Martin, Slovakia.


In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) studies of glial brain tumours reported that higher grade of astrocytoma is associated with increased level of choline-containing compounds (Cho) and decreased levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and creatine and phosphocreatine (Cr). In this work, we studied the metabolism of glioma tumours by in vitro proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS). 1H-MR spectra were recorded in vitro from perchloric acid extracts of astrocytoma (WHO II) and glioblastoma multiforme (WHO IV) samples. We observed differences between astrocytoma and glioblastoma multiforme in the levels of Cho, alanine, lactate, NAA, and glutamate/glutamine. In astrocytoma samples, we found higher MR signal of NAA and lower signal of Cho and alanine. MR spectra of glioblastoma samples reported significantly higher levels of lactate and glutamate/glutamine. In contrast, levels of Cr were the same in both tumour types. We also determined NAA/Cr and Cho/Cr ratios in the tumour samples. The NAA/Cr ratio was higher in astrocytomas than in glioblastomas multiforme. Conversely, the Cho/Cr ratio was higher in glioblastoma multiforme. The results indicate that MRS is a promising method for distinguishing pathologies in human brain and for pre-surgical grading of brain tumours.

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