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Magnetic resonance spectroscopy for traumatic brain injury

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fiona Smith, Professor Andrew BlamireORCiD


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Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) provides a noninvasive tool to assess metabolic change in the brain following head injury. Observable metabolites reflect neuronal density and viability, glial density, membrane injury, and hypoxia or ischemia. MRS has been used in traumatic brain injury (TBI) research for nearly 20 years and this article reviews the MRS findings in the adult TBI population. Although MRS observations are heterogeneous, there are consistent patterns in TBI with the neuronal metabolite N-Acetyl-Aspartate (NAA) significantly reduced in the vast majority of studies, while the membrane related choline signal (Cho) is almost equally found to be elevated. The glial metabolites myoinositol is often observed to be increased postinjury and this elevation persists into the chronic phase, which is interpreted as revealing gliosis. Observation of elevated lactate levels are sporadic and mainly in acute studies in severely injured subjects. In general, these spectral changes show a dependency on injury severity and acute changes relate to both neuropsychological deficits and to long-term outcome..

Publication metadata

Author(s): Croall I, Smith FE, Blamire AM

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Year: 2015

Volume: 24

Issue: 5

Pages: 267-274

Print publication date: 27/10/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0899-3459

ISSN (electronic): 1536-1004

Publisher: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins


DOI: 10.1097/RMR.0000000000000063