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Early 1H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Acute Head Injury: Four Cases

Early 1H Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Acute Head Injury: Four Cases


In an attempt to examine in vivo the early metabolic consequences of severe acute head injury, 1H MRS was performed in four patients from 8 to 25 h (mean 15 h) following trauma. In three of these patients, decompressive surgery was performed 4–prior to the MRS. High levels of lactate (area of lactate peak >50% of the mean areas of the NAA, choline-containing, and creatine-containing compound peaks) were found at 8 h posttrauma in the one patient who was not operated on and at 10 h posttrauma in one of the patients who underwent surgery. In the other two postoperative patients, at 18 and 25 h after trauma, lactate levels were found to be low (lactate peak <20% of the mean area of the other three peaks). In the one patient who had a follow-up at 6 days and who had the largest initial lactate levels, these remained high. These findings suggest that high levels of lactate may not be an inevitable consequence of severe head injury and that similar MRS studies should be performed on each individual patient before therapies to reduce lactate are considered. There appeared to be no correlation between the relative amounts of lactate and outcome.
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