The influence of cystathionine on neurochemical quantification in brain tumor in vivo MR spectroscopy

Francesca Branzoli, Dinesh K. Deelchand, Roberto Liserre, Pietro Luigi Poliani, Lucia Nichelli, Marc Sanson, Stéphane Lehéricy, Małgorzata Marjańska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the ability of the PRESS sequence (T E = 97 ms, optimized for 2-hydroxyglutarate detection) to detect cystathionine in gliomas and the effect of the omission of cystathionine on the quantification of the full neurochemical profile.

METHODS: Twenty-three subjects with a glioma were retrospectively included based on the availability of both MEGA-PRESS and PRESS acquisitions at 3T, and the presence of the cystathionine signal in the edited MR spectrum. In eight subjects, the PRESS acquisition was performed also in normal tissue. Metabolite quantification was performed using LCModel and simulated basis sets. The LCModel analysis for the PRESS data was performed with and without cystathionine.

RESULTS: All subjects with glioma had detectable cystathionine levels >1 mM with Cramér-Rao lower bounds (CRLB) <15%. The mean cystathionine concentrations were 3.49 ± 1.17 mM for MEGA-PRESS and 2.20 ± 0.80 mM for PRESS data. Cystathionine concentrations showed a significant correlation between the two MRS methods (r = 0.58, p = .004), and it was not detectable in normal tissue. Using PRESS, 19 metabolites were quantified with CRLB <50% for more than half of the subjects. The metabolites that were significantly (p < .0028) and mostly affected by the omission of cystathionine were aspartate, betaine, citrate, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and serine.

CONCLUSIONS: Cystathionine was detectable by PRESS in all the selected gliomas, while it was not detectable in normal tissue. The omission from the spectral analysis of cystathionine led to severe biases in the quantification of other neurochemicals that may play key roles in cancer metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-545
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
information Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Grant/Award Numbers: ANR-10-IAIHU-06; ANR-11-INBS-0006; ANR-20-CE17-0002-01; National Institutes of Health, Grant/Award Numbers: P30 NS076408; P41 EB015894The authors thank Edward J. Auerbach, Ph.D., for implementing MRS sequences on the Siemens platform. F.B. and S.L. acknowledge support from Investissements d'avenir [grant number ANR-10-IAIHU-06 and ANR-11-INBS-0006]. F.B. acknowledges support from Agence Nationale de la Recherche [grant number ANR-20-CE17-0002-01]. D.D. and M.M. acknowledge support from following National Institutes of Health grants: BTRC P41 EB015894 and P30 NS076408. MS acknowledge support from INCa-DGOS-Inserm_12560 (SiRIC CURAMUS).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.


  • H MRS
  • cystathionine
  • glioma
  • metabolite quantification
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy/methods
  • Cystathionine
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Brain Neoplasms/metabolism
  • Brain/metabolism
  • Glioma/pathology

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) tags

  • SMCT
  • CTR

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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