Spatially resolved metabolite maps, as measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) methods, are being increasingly used to acquire metabolic information to guide therapy, with metabolite ratio maps perhaps providing the most diagnostic information. We present a quality assurance procedure for MRSI-derived metabolic data acquired ultimately for guiding conformal radiotherapy.An MRSI phantom filled with brain-mimicking solutions was custom-built with an insert holding eight vials containing calibration solutions of precisely varying metabolite concentrations that emulated increasing grade/density of brain tumor. Phantom metabolite ratios calculated from fully relaxed 1D, 2D, and 3D MRS data for each vial were compared with calibrated metabolite ratios acquired at 9.4 T. Additionally, 3D ratio maps were "discretized" to eight pseudoabnormality levels on a slice-by-slice basis and the accuracy of this procedure was verified.Regression analysis revealed expected linear relationships between experimental and calibration metabolite ratios with intercepts close to zero for the three acquisition modes. 1D MRS data agreed most with theoretical considerations (regression coefficient, b = 0.969; intercept 0.008). The 2D (b = 1.049; intercept -0.199) and 3D (correlation coefficient r(2) = 0.9978-0.7336 for five slices) MRSI indicated reduced MRS data quality in regions of degraded B(0) and B(1) homogeneity. Pseudoabnormality levels were found to be consistent with expectations within regions of adequate B(0) homogeneity.This simple phantom-based approach to generate baseline calibration curves for all MRS acquisition modes may be useful to identify temporal deviations from acceptable data quality in a routine clinical environment or for testing new MRS and MRSI acquisition software.
View details for DOI 10.1016/S0630-3016(03)01564-5
View details for Web of Science ID 000186293800031
View details for PubMedID 14575849