In vivo determination of human breast fat composition by 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7 T

Ivan E. Dimitrov, Deborah Douglas, Jimin Ren, Nadine B. Smith, Andrew G. Webb, A. Dean Sherry, Craig R. Malloy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The role of diet and fat consumption in the pathogenesis of breast cancer is an important subject. We report a method for noninvasive determination of lipid composition in human breast by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) at 7 T. Two respiratory-triggered TE-averaged stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM) acquisitions were performed on the adipose tissue of 10 healthy volunteers where the second acquisition had all gradients inverted. This acquisition protocol allows the suppression of modulation sidebands that complicate spectral analysis at the short TEavg = 24.5 ms. The entire acquisition takes ∼10 min. Ten lipid peaks were typically resolved. T 1 and T2 were also measured and used to correct the peak intensities. The calculated average lipid composition for saturated was 28.7 ± 8.4%, monounsaturated, 48.5 ± 7.9%, and polyunsaturated, 22.7 ± 3.1%, in close agreement with reported values from subcutaneous adipose measurements. Intrasubject variability was 2.0, 1.6, and 3.6% for the saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fractions, respectively. In conclusion, we have shown that a chemical analysis of lipids in breast tissue can be determined quite simply, quickly, and noninvasively by proton MRS at 7 T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • MUFA
  • NMR
  • PUFA
  • TE-average
  • adipose
  • triglycerides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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