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Invest Radiol. 1997 Aug;32(8):485-95.

Cerebral metabolic alterations in human immunodeficiency virus-related encephalopathy detected by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Comparison between sequences using short and long echo times.

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Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale (CRMBM), Marseille, France.



The aim of this study is to evaluate comparatively the metabolic information afforded by proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy with stimulated-echo acquisition mode (STEAM) (echo time [TE], 20 mseconds) and point-resolved spectroscopy sequence (PRESS) (TE, 135 mseconds) spectra in HIV-related encephalopathy.


Sixty-three human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients and 8 controls were examined by single-voxel proton MR spectroscopy at 1.5 tesla, using both PRESS (TE, 135 mseconds) and STEAM (TE, 20 mseconds) sequences performed during the same MR examination, in the same volume of interest. Cerebral atrophy was quantitated using bicaudate ratio (BCR) and bifrontal ratio (BFR).


With the STEAM (TE, 20 mseconds) spectra, mean N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/choline (Cho) and NAA/creatine and phosphocreatine (Cr-PCr) ratios are reduced in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) dementia complex (ADC) patients but not in neuroasymptomatics. The proportion of inositol signal is increased, that of NAA decreased in ADC patients. NAA/Cho and NAA/ Cr-PCr mean values measured with PRESS (TE, 135 mseconds) spectra are significantly reduced in ADC and neuroasymptomatic patients. Bifrontal ratio only correlates with NAA/Cr-PCr and NAA/Cho measured on the PRESS spectrum. PRESS (TE, 135 mseconds) spectra allow a definition of different metabolic patterns in HIV-related encephalopathy. At last, no correlation has been found between the NAA raw signals measured on the PRESS (TE, 135 mseconds) and STEAM (TE, 20 mseconds) spectra obtained in the same MR examination.


STEAM (TE, 20 mseconds) spectra provide more metabolic information-namely an evaluation of glial-neuronal status-than PRESS (TE, 135 mseconds) spectra, which afford a metabolic classification of the HIV-related encephalopathy. Because both sequences afford a similar diagnostic gain, MR spectroscopy examination probably requires spectrum acquisition with both sequences.

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