Characterization of intervertebral disc degeneration by high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) spectroscopy
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
The goal of this study was to determine the ability of high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) NMR spectroscopy to distinguish different stages of intervertebral disc degeneration (IVDD). 17 discs were removed from human cadavers and analyzed them using 1D and 2D (total correlation spectroscopy (TOCSY)) (1)H HR-MAS spectroscopy, and T(1) and T(2) relaxation time measurements to determine the chemical composition and changes in chemical environment of discs with increasing levels of degeneration (Thompson grade). Among the significant findings were that spectra were very similar for samples taken from annular and nuclear regions of discs, and that visually apparent changes were observed in the spectra of the annular and nuclear samples from discs with increasing Thompson grade. Area ratios of the N-acetyl to choline (Cho) regions, and Cho to carbohydrate (Carb) regions of the spectra allowed us to discriminate between discs of increasing Thompson grade with minimal overlap of individual ratios. Changes in T(1) and T(2) relaxation times of the chemical constituents of disc spectra were not significantly correlated to the degree of degeneration. The results of this study support the feasibility of using in vivo spectroscopy for detecting chemical changes associated with disc degeneration.