Proton MR spectroscopy of brain abnormalities in neonates born to HIV- positive mothers

A. Cortey, J. G. Jarvik, R. E. Lenkinski, R. I. Grossman, I. Frank, M. Delivoria- Papadopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To examine the sensitivity of proton MR spectroscopy for detecting early central nervous system abnormalities in neonates born to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive mothers. METHODS: Asleep, unsedated, and continuously monitored by electrocardiography, 10 newborns, 5 with HIV-positive and 5 with HIV-negative mothers, were studied within the first 10 days of life in a 1.5-T scanner. After T1- and T2-weighted images were obtained, proton spectra were performed using voxels of interest (3.4 cm3) in the deep parietooccipital white matter. Peaks were identified as N- acetyl-aspartate (2.0 ppm), creatine and phosphocreatine (3.0 ppm), choline (3.2 ppm), and inositol (3.5 ppm). Peak areas were used to calculate metabolic ratios: N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine, inositol to creatine, and creatine to choline. RESULTS: All newborns of HIV-positive mothers had abnormal proton spectra compared with control infants; a nonspecific amino acid peak in the 2.1- to 2.6-ppm area was elevated, broad, and overlapping the N-acetyl-aspartate peak in all the HIV-exposed newborns and in only 1 of the 5 control newborns. The choline-to-creatine ratio was higher in HIV- exposed newborns at 2.3 ± 0.4 (normal term, 0.9 ± 0.3), as was the N- acetyl-aspartate-to-creatine ratio at 2.6 ± 0.9 (for control subjects, 1.2 ± 0.4). MR images from these brain regions were all considered normal. Because acquired immunodeficiency syndrome develops in only a small fraction of neonates born to HIV-seropositive mothers, the above spectral abnormalities found in all our subjects may result from indirect effects of HIV, such as intrauterine growth retardation. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that proton MR spectroscopy might play an important role in detecting early central nervous system complications in newborns of HIV- seropositive mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1853-1859
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Proton MR spectroscopy of brain abnormalities in neonates born to HIV- positive mothers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this