Single-voxel proton MRS of the human brain at 1.5T and 3.0T

Magn Reson Med. 2001 May;45(5):765-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1104.


Single-voxel proton spectra of the human brain were recorded in five subjects at both 1.5T and 3.0T using the STEAM pulse sequence. Data acquisition parameters were closely matched between the two field strengths. Spectra were recorded in the white matter of the centrum semiovale and in phantoms. Spectra were compared in terms of resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and transverse relaxation times (T(2)) were estimated at both field strengths. Spectra at 3T demonstrated a 20% improvement in sensitivity compared to 1.5T at short echo times (TE = 20 msec), which was lower than the theoretical 100% improvement. Spectra at long echo times (TE = 272 msec) exhibited similar SNR at both field strengths. T(2) relaxation times were almost twofold shorter at the higher field strength. Spectra in phantoms demonstrated significantly improved resolution at 3T compared to 1.5T, but resolution improvements in in vivo spectra were almost completely offset by increased linewidths at higher field.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Protons
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted


  • Protons