We herein present a spectroscopic technique for the detection of scalar-coupled metabolites based on stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM). The method is based on the time evolution of scalar-coupled metabolites at different mixing times and a constant echo time. The technique is optimized for targeting the metabolite glutamate at 7T.Methods:
Numerical simulations were used to optimize the parameters to maximize the chosen metabolite signal. The maximum detection efficiency and metabolite signal as a function of echo time were used to identify the optimal parameters. In vitro and in vivo validations of the method were also performed.Results:
This method canceled all the strong singlet lines and signals from macromolecules and preserved signals originating from the scalar-coupled metabolites. The subtracted spectrum was strongly simplified, but the complete spectral information of the traditional STEAM acquisition was retained in the sum spectrum.Conclusions:
The simulations performed in this study were in agreement with the experimental results, and a clear detection of the metabolite of interest was obtained. The applicability in vivo was also demonstrated, with the selective detection of glutamate in human brain. This technique is simple, suitable for standard MR systems without sequence programming and could be used to detect other metabolites. Magn Reson Med 74:1515–1522, 2015. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.