Quantification of metabolite concentrations by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) in the human brain using water as an internal standard is based on the assumption that water content does not change significantly in pathologic brain tissue. To test this, we used 1H-MRS to estimate brain water content during the course of cerebral infarction. Measurements were performed serially in the acute, subacute, and chronic phase of infarction. Fourteen patients with acute cerebral infarction were examined as well as 9 healthy controls. To correlate with regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) SPECT-scanning using 99mTc-HMPAO as flow tracer was performed in the patients. Mean water content (SD) in the infarct area was 37.7 (5.1); 41.8 (4.8); 35.2 (5.4); and 39.3 (5.1) mol x [kg wet weight](-1) at 0-3; 4-7; 8-21; and >180 days after stroke, respectively. Water content increased between Day 0-3 and Day 4-7 (p = 0.034) and decreased from Day 0-3 to Day 8-21 (p = 0.028). Water content at Day 4-7 was significantly higher than in controls (p < or = 0.05). At the same time intervals, mean rCBF (SD) was 76 (23); 94 (31); 106 (35); and 64 (26)%, respectively. There was a significant increase in rCBF from Day 0-3 to Day 4-7 (p = 0.050) and from Day 0-3 to Day 8-21 (p = 0.028). No correlation between rCBF and water content was found. Water content in ischemic brain tissue increased significantly between Day 4-7 after stroke. This should be considered when performing quantitative 1H-MRS using water as an internal standard in stroke patients.
Clinical M R I, 1999, Vol 17, Issue 2, p. 301-4
Acute Disease; Aged; Body Water; Brain; Brain Chemistry; Case-Control Studies; Cerebral Infarction; Cerebrovascular Circulation; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Radiopharmaceuticals; Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime; Time Factors