Quantitative liver 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 3T on a clinical scanner

Magn Reson Med. 2014 May;71(5):1670-5. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24835. Epub 2013 Jun 24.


Purpose: The aims of this study were (i) to establish a robust and fast method to quantify hepatocellular phosphorus compounds in molar concentration on a 3T clinical scanner, (ii) to evaluate its reproducibility, and (iii) to test its feasibility for a use in large cohort studies.

Method: Proton-decoupled (31) P magnetic resonance spectroscopy of liver (31) P compounds were acquired on 85 healthy subjects employing image selected in-vivo spectroscopy localization in 13 min of acquisition at 3T. Absolute quantification was achieved using an external reference and double-matching phantoms (inorganic phosphates and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) solutions). Reproducibility of the method was also examined.

Results: This method showed a high intra- and interday as well as inter- and intraobserver reproducibility (r > 0.98; P < 0.001), with a high signal to noise ratio (SNR) (i.e., mean SNR of γ-ATP: 16). The mean liver concentrations of 85 healthy subjects were assessed to be 1.99 ± 0.51 and 2.74 ± 0.55 mmol/l of wet tissue volume for Pi and γ-ATP, respectively.

Conclusion: This method reliably quantified molar concentrations of liver (31) P compounds on 85 subjects with a short total examination time (∼25 min) on a 3T clinical scanner. Thus, the current method can be readily utilized for a clinical study, such as a large cohort study.

Keywords: 31P MRS; 3T clinical scanner; human liver; molar quantification; phosphorus compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phosphorus Isotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / instrumentation*
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Phosphates
  • Phosphorus Isotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals