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PURPOSE: Children who have brain tumors are at risk for a variety of treatment-related sequelae, including neuropsychological and cognitive impairment, neurologic deficits, and neuroendocrinologic disturbances. We sought to determine the value of proton MR spectroscopy in assessing brain tissue remote from the tumor site to ascertain the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in these patients.

METHODS: Single-voxel proton MR spectra from 70 patients (111 spectra) and 11 healthy volunteers (11 spectra) were analyzed. NAA/Cr, NAA/Cho, and Cho/Cr ratios based on peak areas were obtained from nonneoplastic regions of the frontal lobe. The relationship between MR spectroscopic ratios and treatment was determined.

RESULTS: NAA-containing ratios were decreased in patients as compared with control subjects. The presence of gadolinium-based contrast material did not cause significant changes in the ratios as compared with precontrast data. When chemotherapy was a component of a child’s treatment protocol, we found a significant decline in NAA/Cr ratios. Patients who underwent both chemotherapy and radiation therapy showed a trend toward lower NAAcontaining ratios if the chemotherapy was administered before the radiation therapy. Patients receiving whole-brain radiation had a trend toward lower NAA-containing ratios than did those who had only focal tumor treatment.

CONCLUSION: In children with brain tumors, MR spectroscopy of brain tissue remote from the tumor reveals treatment-related biochemical changes.


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Waldrop, S. M., Davis, P. C., Padgett, C. A., Shapiro, M. B., Morris, R. D. (1998). Treatment of brain tumors in children is associated with abnormal MRS ratios in brain tissue remote from the tumor site. Am. J. Neuroradiology, 19, 963-970.

(c) American Society of Neuroradiology. Posted with the permission of the publisher.

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