On the identification of cerebral metabolites in localized 1H NMR spectra of human brain in vivo

NMR Biomed. 1991 Apr;4(2):90-8. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1940040211.


Localized 1H NMR spectra of human brain in vivo are affected by signal overlap, strong spin-spin coupling, and complex J modulation, and therefore differ considerably from those obtained at higher magnetic fields. This paper deals with the assignment of 1H NMR resonances of cerebral metabolites under the experimental conditions used for human investigations. Conventional 7.0-T FID spectra and 2.0 T localized, short echo time STEAM spectra (TE = 20 ms) of aqueous metabolite solutions are compared to in vivo brain spectra of human volunteers and patients. In addition to singlet resonances from N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), creatines, and cholines, short echo time STEAM spectra exhibit multiplets due to the NAA aspartyl group, glutamate, taurine, and myo-inositol. Enhanced levels of cerebral glutamine are detected in patients with liver cirrhosis. For the first time elevated levels of brain glucose are observed in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / analysis
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Choline / analysis
  • Creatine / analysis
  • Glucose / analysis
  • Glutamates / analysis
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamine / analysis
  • Humans
  • Inositol / analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Protons
  • Rats
  • Taurine / analysis


  • Glutamates
  • Protons
  • Glutamine
  • Taurine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Inositol
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Glucose
  • Creatine
  • Choline