Quantitative Multivoxel Proton Spectroscopy of the Brain in Developmental Delay

Krijn T. Verbruggen*, Natasha M. Maurits, Linda C. Meiners, Oebele F. Brouwer, Francjan J. van Spronsen, Paul E. Sijens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: To assess whether proton MR spectroscopy of the brain in children with developmental delay reveals a consistent pattern of abnormalities.

Materials and Methods: Eighty-eight patients (median age, 4.6 years; interquartile range, 3.1-8.1 years) with unexplained developmental delay, were compared with 48 normally developing age-matched controls. Patients and controls were assigned to five age-groups. Multivoxel MR spectroscopy was performed on a volume of interest superior to the lateral ventricles. The relative levels of choline, creatine, N-acetyl aspartate, and glutamate/glutamine in 24 voxels containing white matter and 12 voxels containing gray matter were quantified in an operator-independent 1 manner and expressed in proportion to the total metabolite peak area in the volume of interest.

Results: White matter choline in DD showed less decrease with age. Mean choline levels, compared with mean control levels, increased from 99 to 111% with increasing age. This 1 was statistically significant in the highest age groups (P = 0.015 [7 <yr

Conclusion: Proton MR spectroscopy in a group of patients with unexplained DD shows small differences in the metabolite pattern, compared with normally developing controls, that is, higher choline in the white matter. The pathophysiological origin and significance may relate to myelination and maturation of the white matter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-721
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2009


  • developmental delay
  • mental retardation
  • MR spectroscopy
  • cohort study
  • GRAY

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