Visual stimulation, H-1 MR spectroscopy and fMRI of the human visual pathways

CC Boucard, JP Mostert, FW Cornelissen, J De Keyser, M Oudkerk, PE Sijens*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose was to assess changes in lactate content and other brain metabolites under visual stimulation in optical chiasm, optic radiations and occipital cortex using multiple voxel MR spectroscopy (MRS). H-1 chemical shift imaging (CSI) examinations of transverse planes centered to include the above structures were performed in four subjects at an echo time of 135 ms. Functional MRI (fMRI) was used to confirm the presence of activity in the visual cortex during the visual stimulation. Spectral maps of optical chiasm were of poor quality due to field disturbances caused by nearby large blood vessels and/or eye movements. The optic radiations and the occipital lobe did not show any significant MR spectral change upon visual stimulation, i.e., the peak areas of inositol, choline, creatine, glutamate and N-acetylaspartate were not affected. Reproducible lactate signals were not observed. fMRI confirmed the presence of strong activations in stimulated visual cortex. Prolonged visual stimulation did not cause significant changes in MR spectra. Any signal observed near the 1.33 ppm resonance frequency of the lactate methyl-group was artifactual, originating from lipid signals from outside the volume of interest (VOI). Previous claims about changes in lactate levels in the visual cortex upon visual stimulation may have been based on such erroneous observations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)47-52
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuropean Radiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2005


    • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
    • functional MRI
    • metabolism
    • visual stimulation
    • BRAIN

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