Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging of Ethanol in the Human Brain: A Feasibility Study


*Lucas MRS Building, Department of Radiology, MC 5488, Room P162A, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305.


The in vivo distribution of ethanol in normal human brain following the consumption of a moderate amount of alcohol was measured using magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Three subjects were studied, and the spatial distribution of brain ethanol, 60-min postingestion and measured at a spatial resolution of 1.5 cm, was found to be highly nonuniform with the relative ethanol signal in cerebral spinal fluid, gray matter, and white matter determined to be 1.00, 0.72, and 0.37, respectively. These spectroscopic imaging results indicate that whereas in vivo magnetic resonance studies of ethanol are feasible, quantitative studies of alcohol need to account carefully for the various tissue types within the observed volume.