The feasibility of using a metabolite signal as an internal reference for self-referenced temperature distribution measurement was examined. Line scan echo-planar spectroscopic imaging (LSEPSI) was applied to obtain quick multi-voxel spectroscopic measurements and to avoid possible spectral degradation from motion. Temperature distribution in a rabbit brain in vivo was successfully visualized by means of the chemical shift of water, which was measured by using naturally abundant (up to 10 mM) N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) as the reference signal. Unlike the phase-mapping approach, this technique does not require a pixel-by-pixel subtraction. Therefore, in theory, it is more resistant to inter-scan motion or changes in susceptibility. The spatial and temporal resolutions of this technique are 1.5 cm3 and 4.5 min. A higher signal-to-noise ratio and optimization of the water and outer-volume suppression capabilities will be required to further enhance the temperature-mapping capabilities.
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