Investigation of stroke in sickle cell disease by1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Z. Wang, A. R. Bogdan, R. A. Zimmerman, D. A. Gusnard, J. S. Leigh, K. Ohene-Frempong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Localized proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), obtained with stimulated echo and spin echo sequences, MR imaging (MRI) and MR angiography (MRA) were used to study the brain in 13 children and adolescents with sickle cell disease. Regions of interest (ROI) studied by MRS included regions appearing normal on MRI as well as regions showing complications of sickle cell disease, including focal deep white matter areas of high signal intensity (deep white matter ischemia, DWMI) seen on long TR images, focal atrophic brain areas, and infarcts. The findings in these studies are summarized as follows: Normal-appearing regions on MRI have normal MRS. In ROI including small areas of DWMI, lactate elevation was not detected, but the levels of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) appeared slightly elevated. In areas of DWMI 1-2 cm in size, reduced blood flow could be seen on MRA and lactate elevation could be detected with MRS. When blood flow to a DWMI region was normal, NAA was reduced and there was little lactate elevation, as cell death had already occurred. ROI consisting of atrophic tissue had reduced NAA levels but total creatine levels were not changed. Sometimes lipids, presumably from broken cell membrane, could be detected. In regions of past massive stroke, all metabolites were absent except for small amounts of lactate or lipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


  • Cerebrovascular accident
  • Magnetic resonance angiography
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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