31P CSI of the human brain in healthy subjects and tumor patients at 9.4 T with a three-layered multi-nuclear coil: initial results

  • Christian Mirkes
  • Gunamony Shajan
  • Grzegorz Chadzynski
  • Kai Buckenmaier
  • Benjamin Bender
  • Klaus Scheffler
Research Article



Investigation of the feasibility and performance of phosphorus (31P) magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) at 9.4 T with a three-layered phosphorus/proton coil in human normal brain tissue and tumor.

Materials and methods

A multi-channel 31P coil was designed to enable MRSI of the entire human brain. The performance of the coil was evaluated by means of electromagnetic field simulations and actual measurements. A 3D chemical shift imaging approach with a variable repetition time and flip angle was used to increase the achievable signal-to-noise ratio of the acquired 31P spectra. The impact of the resulting k-space modulation was investigated by simulations. Three tumor patients and three healthy volunteers were scanned and differences between spectra from healthy and cancerous tissue were evaluated qualitatively.


The high sensitivity provided by the 27-channel 31P coil allowed acquiring CSI data in 22 min with a nominal voxel size of 15 × 15 × 15 mm3. Shimming and anatomical localization could be performed with the integrated four-channel proton dipole array. The amplitudes of the phosphodiesters and phosphoethanolamine appeared reduced in tumorous tissue for all three patients. A neutral or slightly alkaline pH was measured within the brain lesions.


These initial results demonstrate that 31P 3D CSI is feasible at 9.4 T and could be performed successfully in healthy subjects and tumor patients in under 30 min.


Phosphorus CSI Spectroscopy Tumor 9.4 T Ultra-high field 



The authors thank C.T. Rodgers and M.D. Robson for providing a Matlab implementation of the WSVD algorithm as supporting material for their paper. This work was funded in part by the Helmholtz Alliance ICEMED—Imaging and Curing Environmental Metabolic Diseases, through the Initiative and Networking Fund of the Helmholtz Association.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Mirkes
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gunamony Shajan
    • 2
  • Grzegorz Chadzynski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kai Buckenmaier
    • 2
  • Benjamin Bender
    • 3
  • Klaus Scheffler
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department for Biomedical Magnetic ResonanceUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.High-Field MR CenterMax Planck Institute for Biological CyberneticsTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional NeuroradiologyUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany

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