Evaluation of 31P metabolite differences in human cerebral gray and white matter

Graeme F. Mason, Wen Jang Chu, J. Thomas Vaughan, Steven L. Ponder, Donald B. Twieg, Dorothy Adams, Hoby P. Hetherington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


31P NMR is commonly used to study brain energetics in health and disease. Due to sensitivity constraints, the NMR measurements are typically made in volumes that do not contain pure gray or white matter. For accurate evaluation of abnormalities in brain metabolite levels, it is necessary to consider the differences in normal levels of 31P metabolites in gray and white matter. In this study, voxels from a three-dimensional spectroscopic image acquisition were analyzed for their dependence on tissue type to assess differences in metabolite levels between gray and white matter. Specifically, gray matter was found to have significantly higher ratios of phosphocreatine (PCr) to γ-ATP and PCr to the total 31P metabolite signal, whereas pH and the ratio of PCr to inorganic phosphate (P(i)) were found to differ insignificantly between gray and white matter. Thus, tissue type can be an important factor to consider for alterations in bioenergetics by 31P NMR spectroscopic studies of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Epilepsy
  • Image segmentation
  • Phosphorus NMR
  • Spectroscopic imaging


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