Liver regeneration in humans is characterized by significant changes in cellular phosphorus metabolism: Assessment using proton-decoupled 31P-magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
In the present study we applied proton-decoupled 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) to noninvasively assess liver metabolism in patients who had undergone a partial hepatectomy (PH). Proton-decoupled 31P chemical shift imaging was performed in 47 patients 2-28 days following major hepatectomy, and the results were compared with those from eight control subjects. All studies were performed on a 1.5T MR imager (General Electric, Milwaukee, WI) equipped with a stand-alone proton decoupler. A 31P-1H resonator pair was used for data acquisition, and 31P data were obtained in 34 min. Liver regeneration was characterized by increases in phosphoethanolamine (PE), and decreases in nucleoside triphosphates (NTP), glycerophosphoethanolamine (GPE), and glycerophosphocholine (GPC). These alterations were most marked 48-72 hr after hepatectomy and returned to baseline within 3 weeks. The level of PE measured by MRSI was also found to depend on the percentage of liver that was removed, while changes in levels of cellular high energy phosphates were independent of the size of liver resection. Implementation of proton-decoupling was critical for assessing individual phosphomonoester and phosphodiester components. This study demonstrates that 31P MRSI can be used to assess metabolic changes in humans during liver regeneration, and may be useful for assessing derangement of the regenerative process or guiding adjuvant chemotherapies.