Proton MR spectroscopy of the basal ganglia in healthy children and children with AIDS

Dongfeng Lu, Steven G. Pavlakis, Yitzchak Frank, Saroj Bakshi, Savita Pahwa, Robert J. Gould, Cristina Sison, Ching Hsu, Martin Lesser, Mara Hoberman, Tracy Barnett, Roger A. Hyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate proton magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy in children with the acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and to establish an age-dependent spectroscopic database of the normal basal ganglia in children. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighteen healthy children and 45 children with AIDS underwent both brain MR imaging and single-voxel MR spectroscopy with a long-echo-time point- resolved technique. A large part of the region of interest studied at MR spectroscopy included the basal ganglia. RESULTS: Seven patients with progressive encephalopathy and eight with static encephalopathy had significantly lower mean N-acetyl aspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) ratios than age-matched control subjects (P < .02). In determining the presence of progressive encephalopathy in children with AIDS, MR spectroscopy appears to be more sensitive and specific than MR imaging and immunologic testing. Thirty patients without encephalopathy had normal NAA/Cr ratios but significantly lower choline/Cr ratios than age-matched control subjects (P < .02). CONCLUSION: Proton MR spectroscopy may be a more sensitive diagnostic technique than MR imaging in childhood AIDS encephalopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-428
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Basal ganglia, MR
  • Brain, diseases
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), spectroscopy


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