Maturation of the human fetal brain as observed by 1H MR spectroscopy.
SourceMagnetic Resonance in Medicine, 48, 4, (2002), pp. 611-616
Article / Letter to editor
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Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
SubjectBiomedical Magnetic Resonance; Prevention of disorders in human reproduction: (Patho)Physiological, endocrinological and methabolic aspects; Biomedische Magnetische Resonantie; Preventie van stoornissen in de menselijke voortplanting: (Patho-)fysiologische, endocriene en metabole aspecten.
Proton MRS was used to monitor cerebral metabolite tissue levels in 35 normal fetuses during development in the gestational age range of 30-41 weeks. First, MRI in three orthogonal orientations was performed. A volume of interest (VOI) (15-43 cc) of fetal brain tissue was then selected for (1)H MRS. For localization, two pulse sequences (stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM) at TE = 20 ms, and point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) at TE = 135 ms) were applied. The MR spectra of the brain showed signals for inositol (Ino), choline (Cho), creatine (Cr), and N-acetyl (NA) compounds. From 30 to 41 weeks the absolute tissue level of NA, and the ratios of NA/Cr and NA/Cho increased, whereas the ratio of Cho/Cr decreased. These changes reflect maturation of the brain. Considering the diagnostic value of proton MRS in pediatric neurology, this new approach may also be useful for characterizing pathological conditions in the fetal brain.
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