High resolution spectroscopic imaging of GABA at 3 Tesla

He Zhu, Richard A.E. Edden, Ronald Ouwerkerk, Peter B. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


A spin echo-based MRSI sequence was developed to acquire edited spectra of γ-aminobutyric acid in an entire slice. Water and lipid signals were suppressed by a dual-band presaturation sequence, which included integrated outer volume suppression pulses for additional lipid suppression. Experiments in three normal volunteers were performed at 3 T using a 32-channel head coil. High signal-to-noise ratio spectra and metabolic images of γ-aminobutyric acid were acquired from nominal 4.5 cm3 voxels (estimated actual voxel size 7.0 cm3) in a scan time of 17 min. The sequence is also expected to co-edit homocarnosine and macromolecules, giving a composite γ-aminobutyric acid+ resonance. The γ-aminobutyric acid+ to water ratio was measured using a companion water MRSI scan and was found to correlate linearly with the % gray matter (GM) of each voxel (γ-aminobutyric acid+/water = (1.5 × GM + 3.2) × 10-5, R = 0.27), with higher γ-aminobutyric acid+ levels in gray matter compared with white. In conclusion, high signal-to-noise ratio γ-aminobutyric acid-MRSI is possible at 3 T within clinically feasible scan times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-609
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • 3 Tesla
  • GABA
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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