Reproducibility of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging in patients with schizophrenia

Alessandro Bertolino, Joseph H. Callicott, Safia Nawroz, Venkata S. Mattay, Jozef H. Duyn, Gioacchino Tedeschi, Joseph A. Frank, Daniel R. Weinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) we found in a previous study a specific pattern of neuronal pathology in patients with schizophrenia as determined by relative loss of signal from N-acetyl-containing compounds (NAA). The purpose of the present study was to assess the reproducibility of the results of 1H-MRSI both in patients with schizophrenia and in normal controls. We studied twice 10 patients and 10 controls on 2 days separated by, on average, 3 months. Reproducibility was assessed with several statistical procedures including ANOVA, coefficients of variation (CVs) and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC). Patients showed significant reductions of NAA/creatine-phosphocreatine (CRE) and NAA/choline-containing compounds (CHO) selectively in the hippocampal region (HIPPO) and in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) on both experimental days. A repeated measures ANOVA showed no effect of time on metabolite ratios in all subjects. CVs were fairly low (especially for NAA/CRE and CHO/CRE) and did not differ significantly between patients and controls. The ICCs of the ROIs reached statistical significance only in a few instances. The present multislice 1H-MRSI study shows that: (1) patients with schizophrenia, when compared as a group to normal controls, show a consistent 1H-MRSI pattern of group differences, i.e., bilateral reductions of NAA/CRE and NAA/CHO in HIPPO and DLPFC; (2) 1H-MRSI data in both patients and controls do not show significant changes over this 90-day period; however, absolute metabolite ratios in individuals show low predictability over this time interval; (3) 1H-MRSI data show relatively low variability (as measured by the CVs) both in patients and normal controls, especially for NAA/CRE and CHO/CRE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


  • Frontal cortex
  • Hippocampus
  • N-acetyl-aspartate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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