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Keywords:

  • in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy;
  • stimulated echo acquisition mode (STEAM);
  • ultra-short TE;
  • LCModel;
  • Cramér–Rao lower bounds (CRLB);
  • interstrain differences

Localized in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy is playing an increasing role in preclinical studies, because of its ability to quantify the concentrations of up to 20 metabolites in rat brain. To assess the differences between often-used rat strains, the neurochemical profiles of Sprague-Dawley, Wistar and Fischer rats were determined at ultrashort TE at 16.4 T. To ascertain high-qualitative quantification, a first experiment examined the dependence of the measuring time on the quantification results and precision by precisely the number of averages between 16 and 320. It was shown that most metabolites can be quantified accurately within a short scan time, yielding Cramér–Rao lower bounds below 20% and stable concentrations for 16 metabolites with as few as 32 or 64 averages in the thalamus and hippocampus, respectively. Interstrain differences in metabolite concentrations were shown to be moderate, with taurine varying significantly between Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats, and slightly more distinct differences from Fischer rats, including variations in glutamate and myo-inositol. The high spectral quality and quantification precision of all data again demonstrated the potential of in vivo 1H NMR spectroscopy at ultrahigh field. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.