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Movsas B , Li BS , Babb JS , Fowble BL , Nicolaou N , Gonen O
Quantifying radiation therapy-induced brain injury with whole-brain proton MR spectroscopy: initial observations
Radiology. 2001 Nov;221(2) :327-31
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PURPOSE: To quantify the extent of neuronal cell loss imparted to the brain by means of radiation therapy through the decline of the amino acid derivative N-acetylaspartate (NAA) by using proton (hydrogen 1) magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Proton MR spectroscopy in a clinical MR imager was used to ascertain the amount of whole-brain NAA before and immediately after whole-brain radiation therapy 3-4 weeks later. Eight patients (four women, four men; median age, 55 years; age range, 39-70 years) were studied. All subjects had lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer [n = 5], small-cell lung cancer [n = 3]) and received either palliative or prophylactic whole-brain radiation therapy. Six of them also underwent a Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) for correlation with the whole-brain NAA. Two-tailed Student t tests were used to evaluate the data. RESULTS: A significant (P = .042) average decline in whole-brain NAA of -0.91 mmol per person was observed in the cohort. No corresponding changes occurred in MMSE scores. There was no significant difference in whole-brain NAA decline between prophylactic and therapeutic whole-brain radiation therapy. CONCLUSION: Since whole-brain NAA loss was detected even when MMSE scores were unchanged, the former seems to be a more sensitive measure of radiation therapy injury than is the latter.
0033-8419 Journal Article