Whole-brain proton MR spectroscopic imaging of mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury and correlation with neuropsychological deficits

Varan Govind, Stuart Gold, Krithica Kaliannan, Gaurav Saigal, Steven Falcone, Kristopher Arheart, Leo Harris, Jonathan Jagid, Andrew A Maudsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Changes in the distribution of the magnetic resonance (MR)-observable brain metabolites N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), total choline (Cho), and total creatine (Cre), following mild-to-moderate closed-head traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were evaluated using volumetric proton MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI). Studies were carried out during the subacute time period following injury, and associations of metabolite indices with neuropsychological test (NPT) results were evaluated. Twenty-nine subjects with mTBI and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 10-15 were included. Differences in individual metabolite and metabolite ratio distributions relative to those of age-matched control subjects were evaluated, as well as analyses by hemispheric lobes and tissue types. Primary findings included a widespread decrease of NAA and NAA/Cre, and increases of Cho and Cho/NAA, within all lobes of the TBI subject group, and with the largest differences seen in white matter. Examination of the association between all of the metabolite measures and the NPT scores found the strongest negative correlations to occur in the frontal lobe and for Cho/NAA. No significant correlations were found between any of the MRSI or NPT measures and the GCS. These results demonstrate that significant and widespread alterations of brain metabolites occur as a result of mild-to-moderate TBI, and that these measures correlate with measures of cognitive performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-496
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010



  • Brain
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Neuropsychological test
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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