Potential Role of in vitro 1 H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in the Definition of Malignancy Grading of Human Neuroepithelial Brain Tumours

C. M. Carapella, G. Carpinelli, A. Knijn, L. Raus, F. Caroli, F. Podo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing sensitivity of neuro-imaging in the diagnosis of brain expanding lesions is not directly related to biopathological specificity and new technological approaches are under study. In particular Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) allows evaluation of some biochemical pathways whose metabolic alterations may be correlated with the nature and malignancy grading of primary brain tumours. In the present study the author performed an in vitro high field 1H MRS (9.4 and 14.1 T) analysis of specimens obtained from stereotactic biopsy or microsurgical removal of primary brain tumours. Different samples derived from heterogeneous areas and/or infiltrated perilesional regions were examined. This study was principally focused on malignancy grading of gliomas and its correlation with the ratio (R) between the resonance band arising from choline containing compounds (between 3.14 and 3.35 ppm) and the total creatine signal (3.0 ppm). Analyses allowed significant discrimination between astrocytomas (R = 2.4 ± 0.6) and glioblastoma (GBM) (R = 4.4 ± 1.3) [p <0.002]; however the results did not allow discrimination between differentiated and anaplastic astrocytomas. The GBM showed the largest spread of values corresponding to their higher level of tissue heterogeneity and de-differentiation. Studies on non astrocytic brain tumours indicated that even higher R values were exhibited by oligodendrogliomas, even in well differentiated forms (p <0.02 with respect to GBM). Moreover, preliminary observations indicated that signals arising from other metabolites may also contribute to a differential diagnosis of different oncotypes. Among these glycine appears particularly relevant, since higher levels were measured for this amino acid in GBM with respect to both astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplement
Issue number68
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Brain tumours
  • Glioma
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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