Richard Edden

  MRS of Lactate

  Spinal Cord MRSI


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Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the spine is a relatively unexplored area, which promises to provide important biochemical information related to myelination and axonal integrity. Spinal cord pathology is known to cause significant clinical disability in many disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Although difficult (because of the spinal cordís small size and deep location), single voxel MRS and 1D-MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) of the cervical spine have been previously described. We have developed a one-dimensional spectroscopic imaging protocol, in which spectroscopic data are collected for five voxels in the medulla nad cervical spinal cord.

Images were acquired on a Philips Intera 3 T scanner with a two-channel flexible surface coil. Tissue was excited by the body coil with a PRESS sequence to select a 1.0x1.2x9 cm volume. High bandwidth, frequency-modulated refocusing pulses were used to minimize the chemical shift artifact associated with slice selection. The pontine-medullary junction served as a landmark to position the top of the upper imaging voxel. One-dimensional spectroscopic imaging was performed over a field-of-view of 24 cm with a 16-step phase encoding scheme to give a nominal resolution of 1.5 cm (TR=3 sec, TE=144 ms, 64 averages). Frequency selective hyperbolic-secant pulses were used to achieve water and lipid suppression. Four outer-volume saturation (OVS) pulses were applied (left, right, anterior, posterior). Scan time was 18 minutes.

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