Spectroscopy Basics

MRS has been demonstrated in vivo for different nuclei, including 1H, 31P, 13C, 15N, 19F and 23Na. While most of these nuclei are very difficult to detect, 1H and 31P are available in the human brain in significant concentra-

_rTTT b

Frequency ipprn)

_rTTT b

Frequency ipprn)

Fig. 6.1. a MRI of a phantom containing main brain metabolites dissolved in a water-based, Ph-buffered stock solution. b Spectrum acquired from the VOI prescribed in a using volume selective spectroscopy sequence with PRESS excitation (TR: 2,000 ms, TE: 35 ms)

tions and have the appropriate physical configuration to be detected by MRS. Besides the technical prerequisites, 'H and 31P are prominent candidates for clinical studies also from a biochemical viewpoint, as they allow in vivo investigation of some of the processes involved in brain metabolism. For instance, 31P-MRS has been the first to be applied to medicine in vivo, and can be used to evaluate brain energy metabolism by directly and non-invasively measuring ATP, PCr or Pi concentrations. While 31P-MRS was the first spectroscopic technique to be applied in vivo, the main nucleus studied today in neuospectroscopy is *H, which provides information on markers of neurons, myelin, energy metabolism and other metabolically active compounds. Besides its important clinical role, 1H spectroscopy is also less technically demanding as it uses hardware employed for standard MRI, and provides a higher signal/ noise ratio (SNR) [1, 3].

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