Reproducibility of Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging in Patients With Schizophrenia

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1998 Jan;18(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/S0893-133X(97)00090-0.


Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) we found in a previous study a specific pattern of neuronal pathology in patients with schizophrenia as determined by relative loss of signal from N-acetyl-containing compounds (NAA). The purpose of the present study was to assess the reproducibility of the results of 1H-MRSI both in patients with schizophrenia and in normal controls. We studied twice 10 patients and 10 controls on 2 days separated by, on average, 3 months. Reproducibility was assessed with several statistical procedures including ANOVA, coefficients of variation (CVs) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Patients showed significant reductions of NAA/creatine-phosphocreatine (CRE) and NAA/choline-containing compounds (CHO) selectively in the hippocampal region (HIPPO) and in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on both experimental days. A repeated measures ANOVA showed no effect of time on metabolite ratios in all subjects. CVs were fairly low (especially for NAA/CRE and CHO/CRE) and did not differ significantly between patients and controls. The ICCs of the ROIs reached statistical significance only in a few instances. The present multislice 1H-MRSI study shows that: (1) patients with schizophrenia, when compared as a group to normal controls, show a consistent 1H-MRSI pattern of group differences, i.e., bilateral reductions of NAA/CRE and NAA/CHO in HIPPO and DLPFC; (2)1H-MRSI data in both patients and controls do not show significant changes over this 90-day period; however, absolute metabolite ratios in individuals show low predictability over this time interval; (3) 1H-MRSI data show relatively low variability (as measured by the CVs) both in patients and normal controls, especially for NAA/CRE and CHO/CRE.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Adult
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Creatine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*


  • Phosphocreatine
  • Creatine
  • Choline