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J Magn Reson. 2009 Oct;200(2):245-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2009.07.010. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Spectral editing of weakly coupled spins using variable flip angles in PRESS constant echo time difference spectroscopy: application to GABA.

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Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


A general in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy editing technique is presented to detect weakly coupled spin systems through subtraction, while preserving singlets through addition, and is applied to the specific brain metabolite gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) at 4.7 T. The new method uses double spin echo localization (PRESS) and is based on a constant echo time difference spectroscopy approach employing subtraction of two asymmetric echo timings, which is normally only applicable to strongly coupled spin systems. By utilizing flip angle reduction of one of the two refocusing pulses in the PRESS sequence, we demonstrate that this difference method may be extended to weakly coupled systems, thereby providing a very simple yet effective editing process. The difference method is first illustrated analytically using a simple two spin weakly coupled spin system. The technique was then demonstrated for the 3.01 ppm resonance of GABA, which is obscured by the strong singlet peak of creatine in vivo. Full numerical simulations, as well as phantom and in vivo experiments were performed. The difference method used two asymmetric PRESS timings with a constant total echo time of 131 ms and a reduced 120 degrees final pulse, providing 25% GABA yield upon subtraction compared to two short echo standard PRESS experiments. Phantom and in vivo results from human brain demonstrate efficacy of this method in agreement with numerical simulations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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