Volume 15 (2016) Issue 2 Pages 187-192
Purpose: To investigate temporal changes in brain metabolites during the first year of life in preterm infants using multivoxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS).
Methods: Seventeen infants born at 29 (25–33) gestational week (median, range) weighing 1104 (628–1836) g underwent 1.5-T multivoxel 1H-MRS at 42 postconceptional week (PCW) and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after. We measured N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr), choline (Cho)/Cr, myo-inositol (Ins)/Cr, NAA/Cho, and Ins/Cho ratios in the frontal lobe (FL) and basal ganglia and thalamus (BG + Th). Linear regression analyses were performed to identify longitudinal changes in infants showing normal imaging findings and normal development. We also evaluated ratios of subjects with abnormal imaging findings and/or development using the 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of regression equations in normal subjects.
Results: In the 13 infants with normal development, NAA/Cr and NAA/Cho ratios showed significant positive correlations with PCWs in the FL (r = 0.64 and 0.83, respectively, both P < 0.01) and BG + Th (r = 0.79 and 0.87, respectively, both P < 0.01), while Cho/Cr and Ins/Cr ratios revealed significant negative correlations with PCWs in the FL (r =−0.69 and −0.58, respectively, both P < 0.01) and BG + Th (r =−0.74 and −0.72, respectively, both P < 0.01). Ins/Cho ratios in the FL did not significantly correlate with PCWs (r =−0.19, P = 0.18), while those in the BG + Th showed significant negative correlation with PCWs (r =−0.44, P < 0.01). The metrics in the abnormal group were within the normal group 95% CIs in all periods except a few exceptions.
Conclusions: Longitudinal multivoxel MRS is able to detect temporal changes in major brain metabolites during the first year of life in preterm infants.