Optimized MEGA-SPECIAL for in vivo glutamine detection in the rat brain at 14.1 T
Glutamine has multiple roles in brain metabolism and its concentration can be altered in various pathological conditions. An accurate knowledge of its concentration is therefore highly desirable to monitor and study several brain disorders in vivo. However, in recent years, several MRS studies have reported conflicting glutamine concentrations in the human brain. A recent hypothesis for explaining these discrepancies is that a short T2 component of the glutamine signal may impact on its quantification at long echo times. The present study therefore aimed to investigate the impact of acquisition parameters on the quantified glutamine concentration using two different acquisition techniques, SPECIAL at ultra-short echo time and MEGA-SPECIAL at moderate echo time. For this purpose, MEGA-SPECIAL was optimized for the first time for glutamine detection. Based on the very good agreement of the glutamine concentration obtained between the two measurements, it was concluded that no impact of a short T2 component of the glutamine signal was detected.