1H-MR spectroscopy in traumatic brain injury

Silvia Marino, Rosella Ciurleo, Placido Bramanti, Antonio Federico, Nicola De Stefano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common cause of neurological damage and disability. Conventional imaging (CT scan or MRI) is highly sensitive in detecting lesions and provides important clinical information regarding the need for acute intervention. However, abnormalities detected by CT scan or conventional MRI have limited importance in the classification of the degree of clinical severity and in predicting patients' outcome. This can be explained by the widespread microscopic tissue damage occurring after trauma, which is not observable with the conventional structural imaging methods. Advances in neuroimaging over the past two decades have greatly helped in the clinical care and management of patients with TBI. The advent of newer and more sensitive imaging techniques is now being used to better characterize the nature and evolution of injury and the underlying mechanisms that lead to progressive neurodegeneration, recovery or subsequent plasticity. This review will describe the role of proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic (MRS), an advanced MRI technique as related to its use in TBI. Proton MRS is a noninvasive approach that acquires metabolite information reflecting neuronal integrity and function from multiple brain regions and allows to assess clinical severity and to predict disease outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • Axonal damage
  • Lactate
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • N-acetylaspartate
  • Oxidative metabolism
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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