Localized 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy of large pediatric brain tumors

L. N. Sutton, R. E. Lenkinski, B. H. Cohen, R. J. Packer, R. A. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Fourteen children aged 1 week to 16 years, with a variety of large or superficial brain tumors, underwent localized in vivo 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy of their tumor. Quantitative spectral analysis was performed by measuring the area under individual peaks using a computer algorithm. In eight patients with histologically benign tumors the spectra were considered to be qualitatively indistinguishable from normal brain. The phosphocreatine/inorganic phosphate ratio (PCr/Pi) averaged 2.0. Five patients had histologically malignant tumors; qualitatively, four of these were considered to have abnormal spectra, showing a decrease in the PCr peak. The PCr/Pi ratio for this group averaged 0.85, which was significantly lower than that seen in the benign tumor group (p < 0.05). No difference between the two groups was seen in adenosine triphosphate or phosphomonoesters. It is concluded that a specific metabolic 'fingerprint' for childhood brain tumors may not exist, but that some malignant tumors show a pattern suggestive of ischemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-70
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • brain neoplasm
  • phosphocreatine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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