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Neurotherapeutics. 2007 Jul;4(3):330-45.

Recent advances in magnetic resonance neurospectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Over the past two decades, proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (proton MRS) of the brain has made the transition from research tool to a clinically useful modality. In this review, we first describe the localization methods currently used in MRS studies of the brain and discuss the technical and practical factors that determine the applicability of the methods to particular clinical studies. We also describe each of the resonances detected by localized solvent-suppressed proton MRS of the brain and discuss the metabolic and biochemical information that can be derived from an analysis of their concentrations. We discuss spectral quantitation and summarize the reproducibility of both single-voxel and multivoxel methods at 1.5 and 3-4 T. We have selected three clinical neurologic applications in which there has been a consensus as to the diagnostic value of MRS and summarize the information relevant to clinical applications. Finally, we speculate about some of the potential technical developments, either in progress or in the future, that may lead to improvements in the performance of proton MRS.

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