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Water-suppressed MRS acquisition techniques have been the standard MRS approach used in research and for clinical scanning to date. The acquisition of a non-water-suppressed MRS spectrum is used for artefact correction, reconstruction of phased-array coil data and metabolite quantification. Here, a two-scan metabolite-cycling magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) scheme that does not use water suppression is demonstrated and evaluated. Specifically, the feasibility of acquiring and quantifying short-echo (TE  = 14 ms), two-dimensional stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM) MRSI spectra in the motor cortex is demonstrated on a 3 T MRI system. The increase in measurement time from the metabolite-cycling is counterbalanced by a time-efficient concentric ring k-space trajectory. To validate the technique, water-suppressed MRSI acquisitions were also performed for comparison. The proposed non-water-suppressed metabolite-cycling MRSI technique was tested for detection and correction of resonance frequency drifts due to subject motion and/or hardware instability, and the feasibility of high-resolution metabolic mapping over a whole brain slice was assessed. Our results show that the metabolite spectra and estimated concentrations are in agreement between non-water-suppressed and water-suppressed techniques. The achieved spectral quality, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) > 20 and linewidth <7 Hz allowed reliable metabolic mapping of five major brain metabolites in the motor cortex with an in-plane resolution of 10 × 10 mm2 in 8 min and with a Cramér-Rao lower bound of less than 20% using LCModel analysis. In addition, the high SNR of the water peak of the non-water-suppressed technique enabled voxel-wise single-scan frequency, phase and eddy current correction. These findings demonstrate that our non-water-suppressed metabolite-cycling MRSI technique can perform robustly on 3 T MRI systems and within a clinically feasible acquisition time.

Original publication




Journal article


NMR Biomed

Publication Date





concentric rings, metabolite-cycling, non-water-suppressed, spectroscopic imaging, Adult, Algorithms, Body Water, Brain, Feasibility Studies, Female, Humans, Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Metabolome, Molecular Imaging, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Signal-To-Noise Ratio