Measurement of glutathione in normal volunteers and stroke patients at 3T using J-difference spectroscopy with minimized subtraction errors

Li An, Yan Zhang, David M. Thomasson, Lawrence L. Latour, Eva H. Baker, Jun Shen, Steven Warach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop and optimize a 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) method for measuring brain glutathione (GSH) levels. Materials and Methods: Phantom experiments and density operator simulations were performed to determine the optimal TE for measuring GSH at 3T using J-difference spectral editing. In vivo data collected from 11 normal volunteers (43 measurements) and five stroke patients (10 measurements) were processed using a new spectral alignment method (adaptive spectral registration). Results: In phantom experiments and density operator simulations where relaxation effects were ignored, close to maximum GSH signal (2.95 ppm) was obtained at TE ≈ 131 msec with minimum N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) signal interference. Using adaptive spectral registration, GSH levels in healthy volunteers were found to be 1.20 ± 0.14 mM (mean ± standard deviation [SD]). GSH levels in stroke patients were found to be 1.19 ± 0.24 mM in lesion and 1.25 ± 0.19 mM in contralateral normal tissue. In comparison, the SDs were significantly larger when only the NAA singlet (2.01 ppm) was used as a navigator for spectral alignment. Conclusion: Spectral editing using J-differences is a reliable method for measuring GSH levels in volunteers and stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009



  • Glutathione
  • J-difference
  • Spectral registration
  • Stroke
  • Subtraction errors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

Cite this