Assignment of the 2.03 ppm resonance in in vivo 1H MRS of human brain tumour cystic fluid: Contribution of macromolecules

A. P. Candiota, C. Majós, A. Bassols, M. E. Cabañas, J. J. Acebes, M. R. Quintero, C. Arús

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MRI and MRS are established techniques for the evaluation of intracranial mass lesions and cysts. The 2.03 ppm signal recorded in their 1H-MRS spectra is often assigned to NAA from outer volume contamination, although it has also been detected in non-infiltrating tumours and large cysts. We have investigated the molecular origin of this resonance in ten samples of cystic fluids from human brain tumours. The NMR detected content of the 2.03 ppm resonance in 136ms echo time spectra, assuming an N- CH3 origin, was 3.19 ± 1.01 mM. Only one third (34 ± 12%) of the N-acetyl containing compound (NAC) signal could be extracted by perchloric acid (PCA) indicating that most of it originated in a macromolecular PCA-insoluble component. Chemical analysis of the cyst fluids showed that sialic acid bound to macromolecules would account for 64.3% and hexuronic containing compounds for 29.2% of the NMR-detectable ex vivo signal, 93.4% of the signal at TE 136ms. Lactate content measured by NMR (6.4 ± 4.4 mM) and the predominance of NAC originating in sialic acid point to a major origin from tumour rather than from plasma for this 2.03 ppm resonance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2004


  • Brain neoplasms
  • Cyst
  • N-acetyl aspartate
  • N-acetyl neuraminic acid


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