The accuracy of metabolite concentrations measured using in vivo proton (1H) MRS is enhanced following correction for spin-spin (T2) relaxation effects. In addition, metabolite proton T2 relaxation times provide unique information regarding cellular environment and molecular mobility. Echo-time (TE) averaging 1H MRS involves the collection and averaging of multiple TE steps, which greatly simplifies resulting spectra due to the attenuation of spin-coupled and macromolecule resonances. Given the simplified spectral appearance and inherent metabolite T2 relaxation information, the aim of the present proof-of-concept study was to develop a novel data processing scheme to estimate metabolite T2 relaxation times from TE-averaged 1H MRS data. Spectral simulations are used to validate the proposed TE-averaging methods for estimating methyl proton T2 relaxation times for N-acetyl aspartate, total creatine, and choline-containing compounds. The utility of the technique and its reproducibility are demonstrated using data obtained in vivo from the posterior-occipital cortex of 10 healthy control subjects. Compared with standard methods, distinct advantages of this approach include built-in macromolecule resonance attenuation, in vivo T2 estimates closer to reported values when maximum TE≈T2, and the potential for T2 calculation of metabolite resonances otherwise inseparable in standard 1H MRS spectra recorded in vivo.
- Echo-time averaging
- Proton MRS
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging