Longitudinal relaxation time editing for acetylcarnitine detection with 1 H-MRS

Lucas Lindeboom, Yvonne M H Bruls, Petronella A van Ewijk, Matthijs K C Hesselink, Joachim E Wildberger, Patrick Schrauwen, Vera B Schrauwen-Hinderling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


PURPOSE: Acetylcarnitine formation is suggested to be crucial in sustaining metabolic flexibility and glucose homeostasis. Recently, we introduced a method to detect acetylcarnitine in vivo with long TE 1 H-MRS. Differences in T1 relaxation time between lipids and acetylcarnitine can be exploited for additional lipid suppression in subjects with high myocellular lipid levels.

METHODS: Acquisition of spectra with an inversion recovery sequence was alternated with standard signal acquisition to suppress short T1 metabolite signals. A proof of principle experiment was conducted in a lean subject and the new approach was subsequently tested in four overweight/obese subjects.

RESULTS: Using the new T1 editing approach, lipid signals in spectra of skeletal muscle can be (additionally) suppressed by a factor of 10 using a TI of 900 ms. Combination of the long TE protocol with the T1 editing resulted in a well-resolved acetylcarnitine peak in the obese subjects.

CONCLUSION: The T1 editing approach suppresses short T1 metabolites and offers a new contrast in 1 H-MRS. The approach should be used in combination with a long TE in subjects with high lipid contamination for accurate quantification of the acetylcarnitine concentration. Magn Reson Med 77:505-510, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • acetylcarnitine/metabolism
  • adult
  • aged
  • algorithms
  • female
  • humans
  • lipids/analysis
  • magnetic resonance imaging/methods
  • male
  • molecular imaging/methods
  • muscle, skeletal/metabolism
  • obesity/metabolism
  • proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy/methods
  • reproducibility of results
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • signal processing, computer-assisted


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