Simultaneous measurement of Aspartate, NAA, and NAAG using HERMES spectral editing at 3 Tesla

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Abstract

It has previously been shown that the HERMES method (‘Hadamard Encoding and Reconstruction of MEGA-Edited Spectroscopy’) can be used to simultaneously edit pairs of metabolites (such as N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and N-acetyl aspartyl glutamate (NAAG), or glutathione and GABA). In this study, HERMES is extended for the simultaneous editing of three overlapping signals, and illustrated for the example of NAA, NAAG and Aspartate (Asp). Density-matrix simulations were performed in order to optimize the HERMES sequence. The method was tested in NAA and Asp phantoms, and applied to the centrum semiovale of the nine healthy control subjects that were scanned at 3 T. Both simulations and phantom experiments showed similar metabolite multiplet patterns with good segregation of all three metabolites. In vivo measurements show consistent relative signal intensities and multiplet patterns with concentrations in agreement with literature values. Simulations indicate co-editing of glutathione, glutamine, and glutamate, but their signals do not significantly overlap with the detected aspartyl resonances. This study demonstrates that a four-step Hadamard-encoded editing scheme can be used to simultaneously edit three otherwise overlapping metabolites, and can measure NAA, NAAG, and Asp in vivo in the brain at 3 T with minimal crosstalk.

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