Effects of tissue susceptibility on brain temperature mapping

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Abstract

A method for mapping of temperature over a large volume of the brain using volumetric proton MR spectroscopic imaging has been implemented and applied to 150 normal subjects. Magnetic susceptibility-induced frequency shifts in gray- and white-matter regions were measured and included as a correction in the temperature mapping calculation. Additional sources of magnetic susceptibility variations of the individual metabolite resonance frequencies were also observed that reflect the cellular-level organization of the brain metabolites, with the most notable differences being attributed to changes of the N-Acetylaspartate resonance frequency that reflect the intra-axonal distribution and orientation of the white-matter tracts with respect to the applied magnetic field. These metabolite-specific susceptibility effects are also shown to change with age. Results indicate no change of apparent brain temperature with age from 18 to 84 years old, with a trend for increased brain temperature throughout the cerebrum in females relative for males on the order of 0.1 °C; slightly increased temperatures in the left hemisphere relative to the right; and a lower temperature of 0.3 °C in the cerebellum relative to that of cerebral white-matter. This study presents a novel acquisition method for noninvasive measurement of brain temperature that is of potential value for diagnostic purposes and treatment monitoring, while also demonstrating limitations of the measurement due to the confounding effects of tissue susceptibility variations.

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