A spectroscopic approach toward depression diagnosis: local metabolism meets functional connectivity
This study aimed to determine the optimal echo time (TE) and mixing time (TM) for in vivo glutamine (Gln) and glutamate (Glu) separation in stimulated-echo acquisition mode at 3 and 7 T. We applied a short TE/TM (20/10 ms) for a high signal-to-noise-ratio and a field-specific long TE/TM (3 T: 72/6 ms; 7 T: 74/68 ms) for optimal Gln and Glu separation of the Carbon-4 proton resonances. Corresponding Gln and Glu spectra were simulated using VeSPA software, and measured in a phantom and human brains at 3 and 7 T. Higher spectral separation for Gln and Glu was achieved at 7 than 3 T. At 7 T, short TE/TM provided comparable spectral separation and in vitro Gln and Glu quantification compared to long TE/TM. Moreover, it showed greater reliability in in vivo Gln and Glu detection and separation than long TE/TM, with significantly lower Cramer–Rao lower bounds (Gln: 14.9 vs. 75.8; Glu: 3.8 vs. 6.5) and correlation between Gln and Glu (p = 0.004). Based on the optimal separation for Gln and Glu, a short TE/TM at 7 T is proposed for future in vivo Gln and Glu acquisition.