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Optimizing acquisition and fitting conditions for 1 H MR spectroscopy investigations in global brain pathology

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Hoefemann Maike, Adalid Victor, Kreis Roland,
Project Metabolic Fingerprints from Magnetic Resonance: Levels, Maps, and Microstructure
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal {NMR} in Biomedicine
Publisher Wiley
Volume (Issue) 32(11)
Page(s) e4161
Title of proceedings {NMR} in Biomedicine
DOI 10.1002/nbm.4161

Open Access

Type of Open Access Green OA Embargo (Freely available via Repository after an embargo)


Abstract Purpose To optimize acquisition and fitting conditions for nonfocal disease in terms of voxel size and use of individual coil element data. Increasing the voxel size yields a higher signal‐to‐noise ratio, but leads to larger linewidths and more artifacts. Several ways to improve the spectral quality for large voxels are exploited and the optimal use of individual coil signals investigated. Methods Ten human subjects were measured at 3 T using a 64‐channel receive head coil with a semi‐LASER localization sequence under optimized and deliberately mis‐set field homogeneity. Eight different voxel sizes (8 to 99 cm3) were probed. Spectra were fitted either as weighted sums of the individual coil elements or simultaneously without summation. Eighteen metabolites were included in the fit model that also included the lineshapes from all coil elements as reflected in water reference data. Fitting errors for creatine, myo‐Inositol and glutamate are reported as representative parameters to judge optimal acquisition and evaluation conditions. Results Minimal Cramér‐Rao lower bounds and thus optimal acquisition conditions were found for a voxel size of ~ 70 cm3 for the representative upfield metabolites. Spectral quality in terms of lineshape and artifact appearance was determined to differ substantially between coil elements. Simultaneous fitting of spectra from individual coil elements instead of traditional fitting of a weighted sum spectrum reduced Cramer‐Rao lower bounds by up to 17% for large voxel sizes. Conclusion The optimal voxel size for best precision in determined metabolite content is surprisingly large. Such an acquisition condition is most relevant for detection of low‐concentration metabolites, like NAD+ or phenylalanine, but also for longitudinal studies where very small alterations in metabolite content are targeted. In addition, simultaneous fitting of single channel spectra enforcing lineshape and coil sensitivity information proved to be superior to traditional signal combination with subsequent fitting.