BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Increased glycine concentration in the brain is associated with altered metabolism in cancer and can be detected by using in vivo MR spectroscopy. This has been proposed as a marker for grade IV gliomas; however, little is known about the potential significance and frequency of in vivo glycine observation. The purpose of this study was to examine the rate of occurrence and spatial distribution of glycine observation with respect to other MR imaging parameters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data from volumetric whole-brain MR spectroscopic imaging of 59 subjects with glioma were analyzed with glycine included in the spectral model. The associations of the signal amplitude and spatial distributions of glycine with findings from contrast-enhanced T1, perfusion, and diffusion MR imaging were then examined. RESULTS: Glycine was detected in 24% of all studies, though with a wide range of signal amplitude and extent of the spatial distributions. While more commonly seen in grade IV tumors (42% of studies), relatively large concentrations were also detected in grade II and III gliomas. Coanalysis with other metabolites indicated a strong association with choline and that glycine was frequently seen to be overlapping with, and adjacent to, areas of high lactate concentration. Increased glycine was always associated with contrast enhancement and areas of increased cerebral blood flow, but without any clear association with other image parameters. CONCLUSIONS: Detection of increased glycine in gliomas appears to identify a subgroup of tumors and areas of increased proliferation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology