Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy in School-Aged Autistic Children

Authors

  • Marcio Moacyr Vasconcelos PhD,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Adriana Rocha Brito MSc,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Romeu Cortes Domingues MD,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Luiz Celso Hygino Da Cruz Jr MD,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Emerson L. Gasparetto PhD,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Jairo Werner Jr PhD,

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • João Pedro Sevalho Gonçalves MD

    1. from the Departamento Materno-Infantil, Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (MMV, ARB, JW); Clínica Multi-Imagem, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (RCD, LCH, JPSG); Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Radiologia, Clínica CDPI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (ELG).
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  • Conflict of Interest: None.

Correspondence: Address Correspondence to Marcio M. Vasconcelos, Av. das Américas, 700 sala 229 bloco 6, Rio de Janeiro–RJ 22640-100 Brazil. E-mail: mmvascon@centroin.com.br.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE

This study aims to assess cerebral metabolites in school-aged autistic patients through proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

METHODS

This case-control study included 10 right-handed male children (median age, 9.53 years ± 1.80) with autism according to DSM-IV criteria, and 10 healthy age- and sex-matched healthy controls (median age, 8.52 years ± 1.42). Imaging was performed on a 1.5-T scanner utilizing a single voxel point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) technique (TR = 1,500 ms, TE = 30 ms). Four cerebral areas were evaluated: bilateral anterior cingulate, left striatum, left cerebellar hemisphere, and left frontal lobe. Peak areas and ratios to creatine (Cr) of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline (Cho), and myo-inositol (mI) were analyzed.

RESULTS

Compared with controls, autistic children showed a significant increase in mI (P= .021) and Cho (P= .042) peak areas in anterior cingulate and in mI/Cr ratio in anterior cingulate (P= .037) and left striatum (P= .035). The remaining metabolites and ratios were not significantly different between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS

This study found a statistically significant increase in myo-inositol and choline in anterior cingulate and left striatum of autistic children compared with controls. In contrast to previous studies, NAA peak area and NAA/Cr and NAA/Cho ratios had no statistically significant decrease in any of the 4brain regions.

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