AIM: The aim of this study was to determine the bilateral distribution of proton metabolites along the long axis of the hippocampus.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty-one healthy volunteers were examined using a 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging system, using proton three-dimensional spectroscopic imaging (3D CSI) of the left and the right hippocampus separately. Three dominant signals were measured: choline (Cho), total creatine (tCr), and n-acetylaspartate (NAA) and expressed as ratios of Cho:tCr, NAA:tCr, NAA:Cho and NAA:(Cho+tCr). We compared the data from three hippocampal regions: head, body and tail.
RESULTS: Lower NAA:tCr ratios were found in head compared with the body (p<0.05) and in the head compared with the tail (p<0.05) bilaterally. Lower NAA:Cho and NAA:(Cho+tCr) ratios were found in the head compared with the body (p<0.05), in the body compared with the tail (p<0.05), and in the head compared with the tail (p<0.05) bilaterally. There was no statistically significant difference between the left and the right hippocampus.
CONCLUSION: Ratios of NAA:tCr, NAA:Cho, and NAA:(Cho+tCr) in hippocampal tissue were significantly higher posteriorly than anteriorly. As the differences are present in healthy volunteers, the appearance in patients related to approximate voxel positioning within hippocampi may result in false-positive results.