Metabolite-cycled STEAM and semi-LASER localization for MR spectroscopy of the human brain at 9.4T

Ioannis Angelos Giapitzakis, Tingting Shao, Nikolai Avdievich, Ralf Mekle, Roland Kreis, Anke Henning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Purpose: Metabolite cycling (MC) is an MRS technique for the simultaneous acquisition of water and metabolite spectra that avoids chemical exchange saturation transfer effects and for which water may serve as a reference signal or contain additional information in functional or diffusion studies. Here, MC was developed for human investigations at ultrahigh field. Methods: MC-STEAM and MC-semi-LASER are introduced at 9.4T with an optimized inversion pulse and elaborate coil setup. Experimental and simulation results are given for the implementation of adiabatic inversion pulses for MC. The two techniques are compared, and the effect of frequency and phase correction based on the MC water spectra is evaluated. Finally, absolute quantification of metabolites is performed. Results: The proposed coil configuration results in a maximum B1+ of 48 μΤ in a voxel within the occipital lobe. Frequency and phase correction of single acquisitions improve signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and linewidth, leading to high-resolution spectra. The improvement of SNR of N-acetylaspartate (SNRNAA) for frequency aligned data, acquired with MC-STEAM and MC-semi-LASER, are 37% and 30%, respectively (P < 0.05). Moreover, a doubling of the SNRNAA for MC-semi-LASER in comparison with MC-STEAM is observed (P < 0.05). Concentration levels for 18 metabolites from the human occipital lobe are reported, as acquired with both MC-STEAM and MC-semi-LASER. Conclusion: This work introduces a novel methodology for single-voxel MRS on a 9.4T whole-body scanner and highlights the advantages of semi-LASER compared to STEAM in terms of excitation profile. In comparison with MC-STEAM, MC-semi-LASER yields spectra with higher SNR. Magn Reson Med 79:1841–1850, 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1841-1850
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • MR spectroscopy
  • Metabolite cycling
  • non-water suppression
  • semi-LASER

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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