NMR Biomed 2002 Feb;15(1):18-27
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Cologne Medical School, Cologne, Germany.
Localized phosphorus-31 MR spectra were obtained in vivo in a large series of normal human brain tissue specimens of healthy volunteers (n=36) and various brain tumours (n=52). Tumour types examined included grade II and grade III gliomas (n=15 and n=1, respectively), glioblastomas (n=16) and meningeomas (n=12). An additional eight tumours were analysed during chemo- or radiotherapy. Spectra were acquired using a modified ISIS pulse sequence with a repetition time of 3 s. Voxel sizes ranged from 56 to 129 ml. The spectra were evaluated using a least-square variable projection (VARPRO) fitting procedure in the time domain, which allows semi-quantitative determination of relative metabolite concentrations. The measurements in normal cerebrum of healthy volunteers revealed the following results of metabolite signal intensity ratios: pH 7.04 (+/- 0.01), PCr/alpha-ATP 0.51 (+/- 0.03), P(i)/alpha-ATP 0.17 (+/-0.02), PCr/P(i) 2.09 (+/-0.12), PDE/alpha-ATP 3.65 (+/-0.13) and PME/alpha-ATP 0.41 (+/-0.04). Meningiomas showed the most obvious changes when compared with normal brain tissue. They are characterized by an alkaline environment (pH 7.16 +/- 0.03; p<0.005), a decrease in the phosphocreatine peak (p<0.0001) and significantly decreased phosphodiesters (p<0.0001). Glioblastomas also showed alkalization (pH 7.12 +/- 0.02; p<0.001) and a decrease in PDE/alpha-NTP (p<0.05), but no significant changes in PCr/alpha-NTP or PCr/Pi. In gliomas with low malignancy, less distinct changes could be detected with slight alkalization (pH 7.09 +/- 0.02; p<0.05) and more than a two-fold reduction in the PDE/alpha-NTP ratio (p<0.05). The spectra of brain tumours during chemo- and radiotherapy indicated clear but inconsistent influence of the therapy.