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J Magn Reson Imaging. 1994 Sep-Oct;4(5):674-80.

Metabolite concentrations in the developing brain estimated with proton MR spectroscopy.

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Danish Research Center of Magnetic Resonance, Hvidovre.


The purpose of the present study was to estimate absolute concentrations and relaxation time constants of metabolites that were detectable with proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy in the healthy preterm, term, and infant brain. Five MR spectra were recorded for each infant by using STEAM (stimulated-echo acquisition mode) sequences with different TEs and TRs. Water was used as an internal standard. The T1 of choline-containing compounds (Cho) and the T1 of phosphocreatine plus creatine (PCr+Cr) decreased. The T2 of the N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA) resonance increased, probably because of a relatively larger signal overlap with glutamate in the most immature brains. The concentration of NAA almost doubled, whereas the Cho concentration showed only a nonsignificant tendency to decrease; therefore, the well-known increase in the ratio of NAA to Cho appears to be due mostly to an increase in NAA concentration. The concentration of PCr+Cr increased rapidly and reached adolescent values at approximately 4 months of age.

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