Magnetic resonance spectroscopic abnormalities in sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Clin Radiol. 2003 Feb;58(2):148-53. doi: 10.1053/crad.2002.1080.


Aim: To study the proton MR spectroscopic findings in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) (sporadic and variant).

Materials and methods: MR imaging and proton MR spectra were acquired in two patients with sporadic CJD (biopsy proven) and one patient with variant CJD.

Results: The two patients with sporadic CJD demonstrated MR signal change within the basal ganglia and thalami and reduced N-acetylaspartate (NAA):creatine ratios. The patient with variant CJD showed characteristic signal change within the pulvinar of the thalami and a markedly reduced N-acetylaspartate:creatine ratio.

Conclusion: All three patients with CJD demonstrated evidence of reduced N-acetylaspartate: creatine ratios on MR spectroscopy. These changes imply that neuronal loss and/or dysfunction is a consistent finding in established CJD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism*
  • Basal Ganglia / metabolism
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / metabolism
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Thalamus / metabolism


  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatine