Neuroradiology

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 313–319

Localised proton MR spectroscopy of brain metabolism changes in vegetative patients

  • R. Ricci
  • G. Barbarella
  • P. Musi
  • P. Boldrini
  • C. Trevisan
  • N. Basaglia
DIAGNOSTIC NEURORADIOLOGY

DOI: 10.1007/s002340050415

Cite this article as:
Ricci, R., Barbarella, G., Musi, P. et al. Neuroradiology (1997) 39: 313. doi:10.1007/s002340050415

Abstract

We examined 14 vegetative brain-injured patients with proton magnetic resonance single-volume spectroscopy (1H MRS) at 1.5 T to establish whether there were changes in relative concentrations of N -acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline (Cho) and creatine (CR) metabolites from those found in healthy brains. Spectra were obtained from two different (2 × 2 × 2 cm) volumes of interest in the left and in the right frontal cortex, normal on MRI. All spectra revealed abnormalities compared with normal spectra obtained from age-matched control subjects. Values outside the normal range for at least one of the metabolite ratios were observed in all patients. Cho/Cr was markedly higher and NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr were markedly lower than in the control subjects. At different times six patients regained awareness and the ability to obey commands, and four were re-examined; changes in metabolite ratios were observed, which were different in individual patients. The NAA/Cho ratio reaches statistical significance in discriminating between the patients with a poor outcome (death or prolonged vegetative state) and those who regained awareness; the dividing line appears to be at a value of about 1.6.

Key words Brain metabolism Vegetative state Magnetic resonance spectroscopy 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Ricci
    • 1
  • G. Barbarella
    • 2
  • P. Musi
    • 3
  • P. Boldrini
    • 4
  • C. Trevisan
    • 1
  • N. Basaglia
    • 4
  1. 1.Servizio di Neuroradiologia, Ospedale Bellaria, Via Altura 3, Bologna, ItalyIT
  2. 2.Area Ricerca CNR, Via Gobetti 101, Bologna, ItalyIT
  3. 3.Servizio di Rianimazione, Ospedale Bellaria, Via Altura 3, Bologna, ItalyIT
  4. 4.Azienda Ospedaliera di Ferrara, Divisione di Recupero e Rieducazione Funzionale, Ferrara, ItalyIT

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