Characterization of cerebral small vessel disease by proton spectroscopy and morphological magnetic resonance

Margret Hund-Georgiadis*, David G. Norris, Thomas Guthke, D. Yves Von Cramon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to investigate whether clinical and neuropsychological impairment in cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) can be evaluated by proton spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and structural magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Sixteen patients with CSVD and 15 healthy age-matched controls participated in the study. In addition to spectroscopic and structural MR examination all patients underwent a comprehensive clinical and neuropsychological investigation. Significant differences in between patients and controls were revealed by 1H-MRS in the parietal white matter: decreased metabolic ratios of N-acetyl aspartate to choline (NAA/Cho; patients: 1.37 ± 0.17, control: 1.72 ± 0.25, p < 0.001) and of N-acetyl aspartate to creatin (NAA/Cr; patients: 1.41 ± 0.15, control: 1.66 ± 0.2, p < 0.01) indicated a pathological state. Evaluation of spectroscopic and neuropsychological data revealed a close relation between attentional impairment, i.e. delayed cerebral transmission time and decreased NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr (r = 0.62, p = 0.014). In sum, 1H-MRS allowed a clear discrimination between patients with CSVD and age-matched normal controls. Moreover, comparisons of 1H-MRS and neuropsychological data suggested that NAA metabolic levels, and particularly the delay in cerebral transmission time, could be potential predictors of the severeness of attentional impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalCerebrovascular diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral small vessel disease
  • Cholin
  • Cognitive impairment
  • N-acetyl aspartate
  • Proton spectroscopy
  • NLA


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