Spatially localized 1H NMR spectra of metabolites in the human brain

C. C. Hanstock, D. L. Rothman, J. W. Prichard, Thomas Jue, R. G. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Using a surface coil, we have obtained 1H NMR spectra from metabolites in the human brain. Localization was achieved by combining depth pulses with image-selected in vivo spectroscopy magnetic field gradient methods. 1H spectra in which total creatine (3.03 ppm) has a signal/noise ratio of 95:1 were obtained in 4 min from 14 ml of brain. A resonance at 2.02 ppm consisting predominantly of N-acetylaspartate was measured relative to the creatine peak in gray and white matter, and the ratio was lower in the white matter. The spin-spin relaxation times of N-acetylaspartate and creatine were measured in white and gray matter and while creatine relaxation times were the same in both, the N-acetylaspartate relaxation time was longer in white matter. Lactate was detected in the normoxic brain and the average of three measurements was ~0.5 mM from comparison with the creatine plus phosphocreatine peak, which was assumed to be 10.5 mM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1821-1825
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • lactate
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • neurochemistry
  • surface coils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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