Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain in pediatric patients

Eur J Radiol. 1999 May;30(2):142-53. doi: 10.1016/s0720-048x(99)00055-8.


H1-MRS is a non-invasive technique which provides different levels of information on brain tissue: the N-acetyl aspartate (NAA) is an indicator of neuronal development, the choline containing compound peak (Cho) provides information on myelination and on cell membrane turnover and gliosis, inositol (Ins) is considered a marker of neuronal degeneration. Lactate may be detected in presence of defective energy metabolism. In the perineonatal period, the brain is apt to be insulted by a variety of events including asphyxia, hypoxemia, hemorrhage, which may subsequently cause delay in development. It is clinically important to assess the degree of brain damage and to obtain the prognostic information in the neonatal and early infantile period. MRS has become available for clinical examinations of the brain during development and these techniques can be used to document improvement or the progression towards irreversible damage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnosis
  • Protons


  • Protons