Reproducibility of 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance spectroscopy for measuring hepatic fat content

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Aug;30(2):444-8. doi: 10.1002/jmri.21837.


Purpose: To investigate reproducibility of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) to measure hepatic triglyceride content (HTGC).

Materials and methods: In 24 subjects, HTGC was evaluated using (1)H-MRS at 3.0 Tesla. We studied "between-weeks" reproducibility and reproducibility of (1)H-MRS in subjects with fatty liver. We also studied within liver variability and within day reproducibility. Reproducibility was assessed by coefficient of variation (CV), repeatability coefficient (RC), and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results: The CV of between weeks reproducibility was 9.5%, with a RC of 1.3% HTGC (ICC 0.998). The CV in fatty livers was 4.1%, with a RC of 1.3% HTGC (ICC 0.997). Within day CV was 4.5%, with a RC of 0.4% HTGC (ICC 0.999). CV for within liver variability was 14.5%.

Conclusion: Reproducibility of (1)H-MRS to measure HTGC for "between-weeks" measurements and in fatty livers is high, which is important for follow-up studies. Within liver variability displays a larger variation, meaning that liver fat is not equally distributed and during consecutive measurements the same voxel position should be used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatty Liver / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric