In vivo detection of serine in the human brain by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) at 7 Tesla

Magn Reson Med. 2009 Oct;62(4):1042-6. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22079.


A single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) filtering strategy for in vivo detection of serine (Ser) in human brain at 7T is proposed. Spectral difference of coupled resonances arising from different subecho times of triple refocusing at a constant total echo time (TE) was utilized to detect the Ser multiplet and cancel the overlapping creatine (Cr) 3.92-ppm singlet via difference editing. Dependence of the Ser signal on subecho times was investigated using density-matrix simulation incorporating the slice-selective radio frequency (RF) pulses. The simulation indicated that the difference-edited Ser CH(2) multiplet at approximately 3.96 ppm is maximized with (TE(1), TE(2), TE(3)) = (54, 78, 78) and (36, 152, 22) ms. The edited Ser peak amplitude was estimated, with both numerical and phantom analyses of the performance, as 83% with respect to 90 degrees acquisition for a localized volume, ignoring relaxation effects. From the area ratio of the edited Ser and unedited Cr 3.03-ppm peaks, assuming identical T(1) and T(2) between Ser and Cr, the Ser-to-Cr concentration ratio for the frontal cortex of healthy adults was estimated to be 0.8 +/- 0.2 (mean +/- SD; N = 6).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Protons
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serine / analysis*
  • Young Adult


  • Protons
  • Serine