Short echo time (TE) proton MR spectra of the brain include signals of several metabolites as well as macromolecules. In various pathologies, such as brain tumors and multiple sclerosis (MS), the presence of mobile lipids or pathologically altered macromolecules may provide useful additional diagnostic information. A reliable quantitation of these resonances, however, is often not possible due to the lack of adequate prior knowledge. Furthermore, even if advanced fitting procedures are used, a reliable evaluation of metabolites in the presence of pathological lipids or macromolecules often fails if the latter are omitted in the spectral evaluation. In this study, a method is presented for the simultaneous evaluation of all visible components, including metabolites, lipids, and macromolecules, by the use of the fitting procedure LCModel. A standard basis set of brain metabolites was extended by inclusion of parameterized components for macromolecules and lipids that were derived from metabolite-nulled in vivo spectra of normal brain and high-grade gliomas, respectively. The improved spectral quantitation is demonstrated in glial brain tumors and MS lesions as well as in normal brain. It is pointed out that both macromolecules and lipids must be included to provide a proper spectral evaluation.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.