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Methods. 2010 Mar;50(3):189-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2009.12.004. Epub 2009 Dec 14.

Quantification of ethanol methyl (1)H magnetic resonance signal intensity following intravenous ethanol administration in primate brain.

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Division of Neuroscience, Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton, OR, USA.


In vivo(1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) can be used to directly monitor brain ethanol. Previously, studies of human subjects have lead to the suggestion that the ethanol methyl (1)H MRS signal intensity relates to tolerance to ethanol's intoxicating effects. More recently, the ethanol (1)H MRS signal intensity has been recognized to vary between brain gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) due to differences in T(2) within these environments. The methods presented here extend ethanol MRS techniques to non-human primate subjects. Twelve monkeys were administered ethanol while sedated and positioned within a 3T MRI system. Chemical shift imaging (CSI) measurements were performed following intravenous infusion of 1g/kg ethanol. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were also recorded for each monkey to provide volume fractions of GM, WM, and CSF for each CSI spectrum. To estimate co-variance of ethanol MRS intensity with GM, WM, and CSF volume fractions, the relative contribution of each tissue subtype was determined following corrections for radiofrequency pulse profile non-uniformity, chemical shift artifacts, and differences between the point spread function in the CSI data and the imaging data. The ethanol MRS intensity per unit blood ethanol concentration was found to differ between GM, WM, and CSF. Individual differences in MRS intensity were larger in GM than WM. This methodology demonstrates the feasibility of ethanol MRS experiments and analysis in non-human primate subjects, and suggests GM may be a site of significant variation in ethanol MRS intensity between individuals.

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