Spectroscopic magnetic resonance imaging of the brain: Voxel localisation and tissue segmentation in the follow up of brain tumour

Guy Poloni, Stefano Bastianello, Angela Vultaggio, Sara Pozzi, Gloria Maccabelli, Giancarlo Germani, Patrizia Chiarati, Anna Pichiecchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The field of application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in biomedical research is expanding all the time and providing opportunities to investigate tissue metabolism and function. The data derived can be integrated with the information on tissue structure gained from conventional and non-conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Clinical MRS is also strongly expected to play an important role as a diagnostic tool. Essential for the future success of MRS as a clinical and research tool in biomedical sciences, both in vivo and in vitro, is the development of an accurate, biochemically relevant and physically consistent and reliable data analysis standard. Stable and well established analysis algorithms, in both the time and the frequency domain, are already available, as is free commercial software for implementing them. In this study, we propose an automatic algorithm that takes into account anatomical localisation, relative concentrations of white matter, grey matter, cerebrospinal fluid and signal abnormalities and inter-scan patient movement. The endpoint is the collection of a series of covariates that could be implemented in a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) of the MRS data, as a tool for dealing with differences that may be ascribed to the anatomical variability of the subjects, to inaccuracies in the localisation of the voxel or slab, or to movement, rather than to the pathology under investigation. The aim was to develop an analysis procedure that can be consistently and reliably applied in the follow up of brain tumour. In this study, we demonstrate that the inclusion of such variables in the data analysis of quantitative MRS is fundamentally important (especially in view of the reduced reduced accuracy typical of MRS measures compared to other MRI techniques), reducing the occurrence of false positives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Brain tumour
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Methodology
  • Post-processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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