Detecting natural abundance carbon signal of NAA metabolite within 12- cm3 localized volume of human brain using 1H-{13C} NMR spectroscopy

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NMR spectroscopy has been applied extensively to study metabolism noninvasively in the human brain and other tissues. However, it usually suffers from poor signal-to-noise ratio due to low NMR sensitivity and low metabolite concentrations. In this study, the technique of proton-observe- carbon-edited (POCE) NMR spectroscopy combined with a single-shot localization sequence was used to detect the natural abundance carbon signal of the amino acid N-acetyl aspartate from a 12-cm3 localized volume in the occipital lobe of humans at 4 T. The results suggest that NMR spectroscopy is sensitive enough to detect signals from low concentration metabolites (<60 nmol/g) from small volumes in the human brain within several minutes of data acquisition. This reveals that in vivo NMR spectroscopy is a promising technique for detecting small metabolite changes and low traces of 13C isotopic labeling for dynamic metabolism studies aimed at investigating physiological and pathological questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-184
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1998


  • N-acetyl aspartate
  • NMR sensitivity
  • NMR spectroscopy
  • Spectral editing

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