Quantitative 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human breast at 7 T

Jannie P Wijnen, Wybe J M van der Kemp, Mariska P Luttje, Mies A Korteweg, Peter R Luijten, Dennis W J Klomp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study presents quantified levels of phosphorylated metabolites in glandular tissue of human breast using (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy at 7 T. We used a homebuilt (1)H/(31)P radiofrequency coil to obtain artifact-free (31)P MR spectra of glandular tissue of healthy females by deploying whole breast free induction decay (FID) detection with adiabatic excitation and outer volume suppression. Using progressive saturation, the estimated apparent T(1) relaxation time of (31)P spins of phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine was 4.4 and 5.7 s, respectively. Quantitative measures for phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine levels in glandular tissue were established based on MR imaging. We used a 3D (1)H image of the breast to segment the glandular tissue; this was matched to a 3D (31)P image of the B1- field of the (31)P coil to correct for differences in glandular tissue volume and B(1) inhomogeneity of the (31)P coil. The (31)P MR spectra were calibrated using a phantom with known concentration. Average levels of phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine in 11 volunteers were 0.84 ± 0.21 mM and 1.18 ± 0.41 mM, respectively. In addition, data of three patients with breast cancer showed higher levels of phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine compared with healthy volunteers. This may indicate a potential role for the use of (31)P magnetic resonance spectroscopy for characterization, prognosis, and treatment monitoring in breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-48
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Breast
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Middle Aged
  • Phosphorus Compounds
  • Phosphorus Isotopes


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