Skip to Main Content
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has emerged as a sensitive modality to detect early and diffuse alterations in multiple sclerosis. Recently, the hypothesis of neurodegenerative pathogenesis has highlightened the interest for measurement of metabolites concentrations, to gain specificity, in a large brain volume encompassing different tissue alterations. Therefore, we proposed in this paper the implementation of an absolute quantification method based on localized spectroscopy at short (30 ms) and long (135 ms) echo time of a volume including normal appearing white matter, cortical gray matter, and lesions. First, methodological developments were implemented including external calibration, and corrections of phased-array coil sensitivity and cerebrospinal fluid volume contribution. Second, these improvements were validated and optimized using an original methodology based on simulations of brain images with lesions. Finally, metabolic alterations were assessed in 65 patients including 26 relapsing-remitting, 17 primary-progressive (PP), 22 secondary-progressive (SP) patients, and in 23 normal subjects. Results showed increases of choline, creatine, and myo-inositol concentrations in PP and SP patients compared to controls, whereas the concentration of N-acetyl compounds remained constant. The major finding of this study was the identification of Cho concentration and Cho/tNA ratio as putative markers of progressive onset, suggesting interesting perspectives in detection and followup of neurodegenerative processes.