Detection of metabolic heterogeneity of human intracranial tumors in vivo by 1H NMR spectroscopic imaging

Magn Reson Med. 1990 Jan;13(1):62-76. doi: 10.1002/mrm.1910130108.


Patients with intracranial tumors (gliomas) were examined by means of localized water-suppressed 1H NMR single volume spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging. The 1H NMR spectra of the tumors exhibit signal intensities of the N-acetyl aspartate, choline compounds, and creatine plus phosphocreatine resonance lines that are different from the corresponding intensities observed on normal brain tissue. Also, for 6 out of the 10 patients examined so far, lactate resonance lines were detected in the tumor spectra. For one patient, abnormal 1H NMR spectra were obtained of a hemisphere which appeared normal with 1H NMR imaging. Metabolic heterogeneity of the tumorous regions could be demonstrated with 1H NMR spectroscopic imaging, using a spatial resolution in the order of 1 cm. These results suggest a spectrum of metabolic observations that may ultimately provide an important means for characterizing brain tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aspartic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Aspartic Acid / metabolism
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism


  • Phosphocreatine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Creatine