MA McLean, A Sun, TE Bradstreet, AK Schaeffer, H Liu, R Iannone, G Herman, RA Railkar, I Joubert, JH Gillard, SJ Price, JR Griffiths
J Magn Reson Imaging
PURPOSE: To assess the repeatability of measurement of lactate and other metabolites in tumors using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). MATERIALS AND METHODS: MRS with spectral editing for lactate was performed on 10 patients with astrocytoma (two Grade III, eight Grade IV) using an 8-channel receive coil at 3T. Lactate, lipid, choline, creatine, and N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) signals were measured in regions of tumor and contralateral white matter. Metabolites were quantified relative to unsuppressed water using LCModel fitting software. RESULTS: The within-patient coefficients of variation were ≈16% (tumor lactate), 6%-8% (tumor choline and contralateral choline, creatine, and NAA), and 22% (tumor lipid). As expected due to their low concentration in normal tissue, lactate and lipid were not reliably detected in white matter but were found at high levels in most tumors. NAA and creatine were lower in tumors than in normal white matter, and choline varied between above- and below-normal values. No consistent short-term variation in metabolite levels was observed, despite differences in the time elapsed since administration of contrast agent. CONCLUSION: MRS appears repeatable enough to provide longitudinal measures of metabolite content in tumors and contralateral tissue in the brain in vivo.