In vivo quantification of glutamate (Glu) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) using MRS is often achieved using two separate sequences: a short-echo point resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) acquisition for Glu and a Mescher-Garwood PRESS (MEGA-PRESS) acquisition for GABA. The purpose of this study was to examine the agreement of Glu and Glx (the combined signal of glutamate + glutamine) quantified from two different GABA-edited MEGA-PRESS acquisitions (GABA plus macromolecules, GABA+, TE = 68 ms, and macromolecule suppressed, MMSup, TE = 80 ms) with Glu and Glx quantified from a short-echo PRESS (PRESS-35, TE = 35 ms) acquisition. Fifteen healthy male volunteers underwent a single scan session, in which data were acquired using the three acquisitions (GABA+, MMSup and PRESS-35) in both the sensorimotor and anterior cingulate cortices using a voxel size of 3 × 3 × 3 cm3 . Glx and Glu were quantified from the MEGA-PRESS data using both the OFF sub-spectra and the difference (DIFF) spectra. Agreement was assessed using correlation analyses, Bland-Altman plots and intraclass correlation coefficients. Glx quantified from the OFF sub-spectra from both the GABA+ and MMSup acquisitions showed poor agreement with PRESS-35 in both brain regions. In the sensorimotor cortex, Glu quantified from the OFF sub-spectra of GABA+ showed moderate agreement with PRESS-35 data, but this finding was not replicated in the anterior cingulate cortex. Glx and Glu quantified using the DIFF spectra of either MEGA-PRESS sequence were in poor agreement with the PRESS-35 data in both brain regions. In conclusion, Glx and Glu measured from MEGA-PRESS data generally showed poor agreement with Glx and Glu measured using PRESS-35.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4245
Pages (from-to)e4245
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number5
Early online date28 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2020


  • Glx
  • MEGA-
  • PRESSGABA-edited MRS
  • glutamate


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