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Clin Chem. 1995 May;41(5):744-51.

Standardized method for high-resolution 1H-NMR of cerebrospinal fluid.

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Institute of Neurology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


This study describes a standardized method for recording single-pulse 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectra from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Quantitative data for alanine, valine, threonine, and lactic acid correlated well with data obtained with conventional techniques. The pH of the samples is important for the reproducibility of the chemical shift of resonances, and should be standardized to improve recognition and assignment of resonances. A database of resonances from various metabolites is presented. Fifty compounds could be identified in CSF, 15 of which had not been observed earlier in NMR studies of CSF. We describe for the first time in the literature, to our knowledge, 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid as a regular component of many CSF samples. As examples of the diagnostic power of the technique, spectra are shown of CSF from patients with three different inborn errors of metabolism. We found high concentrations of N-acetylaspartic acid, citric acid, and succinic acid in CSF from a patient with Canavan disease. This is indirect evidence for the existence of a carrier mechanism that is shared by these di- and tricarboxylic acids.

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