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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2019 Nov;50(5):1424-1432. doi: 10.1002/jmri.26718. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Quantitative multivoxel proton MR spectroscopy for the identification of white matter abnormalities in mild traumatic brain injury: Comparison between regional and global analysis.

Author information

1
Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research (CAI2R), Bernard and Irene Schwartz Center for Biomedical Imaging, New York University School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, New York, New York, USA.
2
Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

3D brain proton MR spectroscopic imaging (1 H MRSI) facilitates simultaneous metabolic profiling of multiple loci, at higher, sub-1 cm3 , spatial resolution than single-voxel 1 H MRS with the ability to separate tissue-type partial volume contribution(s).

PURPOSE:

To determine if: 1) white matter (WM) damage in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is homogeneously diffuse, or if specific regions are more affected; 2) partial-volume-corrected, structure-specific 1 H MRSI voxel averaging is sensitive to regional WM metabolic abnormalities.

STUDY TYPE:

Retrospective cross-sectional cohort study.

POPULATION:

Twenty-seven subjects: 15 symptomatic mTBI patients, 12 matched controls.

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE:

3T using 3D 1 H MRSI over a 360-cm3 volume of interest (VOI) centered over the corpus callosum, partitioned into 480 voxels, each 0.75 cm3 .

ASSESSMENT:

N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), creatine, choline, and myo-inositol concentrations estimated in predominantly WM regions: body, genu, and splenium of the corpus callosum, corona radiata, frontal, and occipital WM.

STATISTICAL TESTS:

Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to compare patients with controls in terms of regional concentrations. The effect sizes (Cohen's d) of the mean differences were compared across regions and with previously published global data obtained with linear regression of the WM over the entire VOI in the same dataset.

RESULTS:

Despite patients' global VOI WM NAA being significantly lower than the controls', no regional differences were observed for any metabolite. Regional NAA comparisons, however, were all unidirectional (patients' NAA concentrations < controls') within a narrow range: 0.3 ≤ Cohen's d ≤ 0.6.

DATA CONCLUSION:

Since the patient group was symptomatic and exhibiting global WM NAA deficits, these findings suggest: 1) diffuse axonal mTBI damage; that is 2) below the 1 H MRSI detection threshold in small regions. Therefore, larger, ie, more sensitive, single-voxel 1 H MRS, placed anywhere in WM regions, may be well suited for mTBI 1 H MRS studies, given that these results are confirmed in other cohorts.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1424-1432.

KEYWORDS:

MR spectroscopy; human studies; multivoxel MRS; traumatic brain injury; white matter

PMID:
30868703
PMCID:
PMC6744359
[Available on 2020-11-01]
DOI:
10.1002/jmri.26718

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