Rapid, reliable in vivo assays of human phosphate metabolites by nuclear magnetic resonance

P. A. Bottomley, C. J. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


This accurate, reliable, and fast method of assaying absolute concentrations of phosphate metabolites noninvasively in living tissue, including that of humans, combines 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and 1H NMR imaging. The images are used to measure the areas of metabolite-bearing tissue in selected sections through the subject, and 31P spectra are acquired from the same section, together with a concentration reference located on the periphery. Metabolite concentrations are calculated from the ratios of areas and integrated signal intensities. Apparatus and protocol are designed to eliminate corrections due to magnetic field nonuniformities and NMR relaxation times. Mean (and SD) concentrations of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), phosphocreatine, and inorganic phosphate (P(i)) measured in the brains of 15 normal adult human volunteers with a 1.5-T NMR system were 3.03 (0.49), 5.18 (0.89), and 1.5 (0.7) mmol per liter of wet tissue, respectively. Acquisition times of only a few minutes should facilitate metabolic studies of patients with disorders in limbs and brain, particularly those affecting entire organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-395
Number of pages4
JournalClinical chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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