An ultrashort-echo-time stimulated echo-acquisition mode (STEAM) pulse sequence with interleaved outer volume suppression and VAPOR (variable power and optimized relaxation delays) water suppression was redesigned and optimized for human applications at 4 and 7 T, taking into account the specific requirements for spectroscopy at high magnetic fields and limitations of currently available hardware. In combination with automatic shimming, automated parameter adjustments and data processing, this method provided a user-friendly tool for routine 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of the human brain at very high magnetic fields. Effects of first- and second-order shimming, single-scan averaging, frequency and phase corrections, and eddy currents were described. LCModel analysis of an in vivo 1H NMR spectrum measured from the human brain at 7 T allowed reliable quantification of more than fifteen metabolites noninvasively, illustrating the potential of high-field NMR spectroscopy. Examples of spectroscopic studies performed at 4 and 7 T demonstrated the high reproducibility of acquired spectra quality.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work was supported by NIH grants P41RR08079, R01NS38672, R01NS35192, M01RR00400, WM Keck and March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundations.