Lactate quantification by means of press spectroscopy--influence of refocusing pulses and timing scheme

Magn Reson Imaging. 1995;13(2):309-19. doi: 10.1016/0730-725x(94)00104-b.


The quantitative assessment of lactic acid in tissue is an important goal for in vivo volume-selective NMR spectroscopy to aid in the noninvasive diagnosis of oxygen deficiency of other metabolic disorders. PRESS localized 1H spectra provide comparatively high signal-to-noise ratio from small volume elements in a single acquisition mode. The quantification of lactate after multipulse excitation is not trivial due to the J-coupling characteristics which do not occur for the substances serving as references. The influence of the timing scheme and of the quality of the refocusing pulses was systematically evaluated for the lactate resonances by volume-selective measurements. Gaussian pulses, Hanning-filtered sinc pulses, and numerically optimized RE-BURP-pulses were applied for refocusing the magnetization in the PRESS sequence and the effects on the lactate AX3 spin system were compared. For these pulses, sequence parameters are presented providing high sensitivity to lactate signals. Timing schemes are shown which provide good quantification of lactate, even in cases with B1-inhomogeneities or slight misadjustment of the transmitter amplitude. The combination of both echo times in the double-echo sequences clearly influences the signal characteristics of lactate at overall echo times near TE = 145 and 290 ms, which may result in pure in-phase magnetization for this weakly coupled homonuclear system. Numerically optimized refocusing pulses (RE-BURP) provided up to 50% higher signal ratio of the methyl protons of lactate to uncoupled nuclei than the often used Hanning-filtered sinc pulses.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates
  • Acetic Acid
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Humans
  • Lactates / analysis*
  • Lactic Acid
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods
  • Models, Structural
  • Time Factors


  • Acetates
  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Acetic Acid