Multivoxel MRS: right frontal parafalcine cortex - area of neurobiochemical gender differentiation?

OBJECTIVE: To determine the presence of gender neurometabolic differences in healthy men and women by multivoxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We performed multivoxel magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy in 50 healthy volunteers (27 women and 23 men) using 1.5T scanner. Spectra from 12 different voxels were obtained, covering frontal, paracentral, and parietal white and gray matter. Three dominant signals were analyzed: NAA, tCr and Cho, and expressed as ratios of Cho/tCr, NAA/tCr, NAA/Cho.

RESULTS: There was statistically significant gender difference between Cho/Cr and NAA/Cr metabolites ratio in only one location - the right frontal parafalcine cortex. There was no statistically significant difference in NAA/Cho ratio between men and women.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that right frontal parafalcine cortex is a sexually dysmorphic area and supports the value of multivoxel MRS as a method able to define spatial biochemical heterogeneity of the cerebral tissue.

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