Comparative evaluation of magnetization transfer MR imaging and in-vivo proton MR spectroscopy in brain tuberculomas

Magn Reson Imaging. 2002 Jun;20(5):375-81. doi: 10.1016/s0730-725x(02)00518-0.


We have compared and analyzed the value of in vivo proton MR spectroscopy (PMRS) and T1 weighted magnetization transfer (MT) MR imaging in tissue characterization of brain tuberculomas. We studied 33 cases of proven intracranial tuberculomas with in vivo PMRS and T1 weighted MT MR imaging. MT ratios from the rim and core of the tuberculomas were calculated and compared with metabolites seen on PMRS. Final diagnosis of tuberculoma was based on histopathology (n = 26) and/or associated tuberculous meningitis (n = 7) in all the cases. Out of the 33 patients who underwent both PMRS and T1 weighted MT MR imaging, spectroscopy showed only lipids at 0.9 ppm, 1.3 ppm, 2.0 ppm, and 2.80 ppm in 26 cases while lipids at 0.9 ppm, 1.3 ppm, 2.0 ppm and 2.80 ppm along with choline at 3.22 ppm was seen in remaining 7 patients. MT ratios from the core or solid necrosis varied from 21-29% while from the rim or cellular region varied from 16-24%. MT ratios from all the 33 lesions were consistent with tuberculomas while PMRS showed choline along with lipids in 7 predominantly cellular lesions simulating a neoplasm. We conclude that T1 weighted MT MR imaging appears to be more consistent in the tissue characterization of brain tuberculomas.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tuberculoma, Intracranial / diagnosis*