Age-related differences in macromolecular resonances observed in ultra-short-TE STEAM MR spectra at 7T

Guglielmo Genovese, Melissa Terpstra, Pavel Filip, Silvia Mangia, J. Riley McCarten, Laura S. Hemmy, Małgorzata Marjańska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To understand how macromolecular content varies in the human brain with age in a large cohort of healthy subjects. Methods: In-vivo 1H-MR spectra were acquired using ultra-short TE STEAM at 7T in the posterior cingulate cortex. Macromolecular content was studied in 147 datasets from a cohort ranging in age from 19 to 89 y. Three fitting approaches were used to evaluate the macromolecular content: (1) a macromolecular resonances model developed for this study; (2) LCModel-simulated macromolecules; and (3) a combination of measured and LCModel-simulated macromolecules. The effect of age on the macromolecular content was investigated by considering age both as a continuous variable (i.e., linear regressions) and as a categorical variable (i.e., multiple comparisons among sub-groups obtained by stratifying data according to age by decade). Results: While weak age-related effects were observed for macromolecular peaks at ˜0.9 (MM09), ˜1.2 (MM12), and ˜1.4 (MM14) ppm, moderate to strong effects were observed for peaks at ˜1.7 (MM17), and ˜2.0 (MM20) ppm. Significantly higher MM17 and MM20 content started from 30 to 40 y of age, while for MM09, MM12, and MM14, significantly higher content started from 60 to 70 y of age. Conclusions: Our findings provide insights into age-related differences in macromolecular contents and strengthen the necessity of using age-matched measured macromolecules during quantification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


  • LCModel
  • MRS
  • aging
  • macromolecules
  • ultra-high field


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