Tract-Based Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of the Cingulum Bundles at 7 T

Rudolf Magnus Institute of Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Human Brain Mapping (Impact Factor: 5.97). 07/2012; 33(7):1503-11. DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21302
Source: PubMed


The cingulum bundle is a white matter fiber bundle in the human brain that is believed to be implicated in various neurological and psychiatric diseases. Subtle disease-related differences in metabolite concentrations in the cingulum tracts that may underlie these diseases may be detected using MR spectroscopic information. However, to date, limited signal to noise and lack of spatial resolution have prevented a reliable and reproducible measurement of metabolites in the cingulum bundle in vivo. Here we propose a new method that combines MR spectroscopic imaging at 7 T with fiber tracking to select only those MR spectroscopy voxels that are actually part of the cingulum bundles. The spectra of the selected spectroscopy voxels are processed per voxel and then combined yielding one spectrum at high spectral resolution for each cingulum bundle. In this way sensitivity is increased, as large parts of the cingulum are included while partial volume effects with both gray matter and white matter from other tracts is kept to a minimum. Three healthy volunteers were scanned to assess the feasibility of the method. For all three healthy volunteers spectra for the left and right cingulum tracts were computed, partial volume fractions calculated and metabolite fractions were quantified yielding similar results suggesting that tract-based MR spectroscopy allows us to study metabolic concentrations of individual white matter fiber bundles with high sensitivity and high specificity.

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Available from: Jeroen C W Siero, Jun 09, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) has been extensively used to study the microarchitecture of white matter in schizophrenia. However, popular DWI-derived measures such as fractional anisotropy (FA) may be sensitive to many types of pathologies, and thus the interpretation of reported differences in these measures remains difficult. Combining DWI with magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) – a putative measure of white matter myelination – can help us reveal the underlying mechanisms. Previous findings hypothesized that MTR differences in schizophrenia are associated with free water concentrations, which also affect the DWIs. In this study we use a recently proposed DWI-derived method called free-water imaging to assess this hypothesis. We have reanalyzed data from a previous study by using a fiber-based analysis of free-water imaging, providing a free-water fraction, as well as mean diffusivity and FA corrected for free-water, in addition to MTR along twelve major white matter fiber bundles in 40 schizophrenia patients and 40 healthy controls. We tested for group differences in each fiber bundle and for each measure separately and computed correlations between the MTR and the DWI-derived measures separately for both groups. Significant higher average MTR values in patients were found for the right uncinate fasciculus, the right arcuate fasciculus and the right inferior-frontal occipital fasciculus. No significant results were found for the other measures. No significant differences in correlations were found between MTR and the DWI-derived measures. The results suggest that MTR and free-water imaging measures can be considered complementary, promoting the acquisition of MTR in addition to DWI to identify group differences, as well as to better understand the underlying mechanisms in schizophrenia.
    Schizophrenia Research 10/2014; 161(1). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.09.046 · 3.92 Impact Factor