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NMR Biomed. 2017 Nov;30(11). doi: 10.1002/nbm.3784. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Applications of high-resolution magic angle spinning MRS in biomedical studies II-Human diseases.

Dietz C1,2,3, Ehret F1,2,3, Palmas F1,2,4, Vandergrift LA1,2, Jiang Y1,2,5, Schmitt V1,2,3, Dufner V1,2,6, Habbel P6, Nowak J7, Cheng LL1,2.

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Departments of Radiology and Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, Charlestown, MA, USA.
Faculty of Medicine, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.
Department of Radiology, First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Hematology and Oncology, Charité Medical University of Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, Germany.
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


High-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS) MRS is a powerful method for gaining insight into the physiological and pathological processes of cellular metabolism. Given its ability to obtain high-resolution spectra of non-liquid biological samples, while preserving tissue architecture for subsequent histopathological analysis, the technique has become invaluable for biochemical and biomedical studies. Using HRMAS MRS, alterations in measured metabolites, metabolic ratios, and metabolomic profiles present the possibility to improve identification and prognostication of various diseases and decipher the metabolomic impact of drug therapies. In this review, we evaluate HRMAS MRS results on human tissue specimens from malignancies and non-localized diseases reported in the literature since the inception of the technique in 1996. We present the diverse applications of the technique in understanding pathological processes of different anatomical origins, correlations with in vivo imaging, effectiveness of therapies, and progress in the HRMAS methodology.


MRS; high-resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS); human tissue; metabolomics

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