Automated analysis of the total choline resonance peak in breast proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Domagoj Javor, Barbara I. Bennani-Baiti, Paola Clauser, Daria Kifjak, Pascal A T Baltzer

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


The aim of the current study was to compare the performance of fully automated software with human expert interpretation of single-voxel proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) spectra in the assessment of breast lesions. Breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (including contrast-enhanced T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and diffusion-weighted imaging) and 1H-MRS images of 74 consecutive patients were acquired on a 3-T positron emission tomography-MRI scanner then automatically imported into and analyzed by SpecTec-ULR 1.1 software (LifeTec Solutions GmbH). All ensuing 117 spectra were additionally independently analyzed and interpreted by two blinded radiologists. Histopathology of at least 24 months of imaging follow-up served as the reference standard. Nonparametric Spearman's correlation coefficients for all measured parameters (signal-to-noise ratio [SNR] and integral of total choline [tCho]), Passing and Bablok regression, and receiver operating characteristic analysis, were calculated to assess test diagnostic performance, as well as to compare automated with manual reading. Based on 117 spectra of 74 patients, the area under the curve for tCho SNR and integrals ranged from 0.768 to 0.814 and from 0.721 to 0.784 to distinguish benign from malignant tissue, respectively. Neither method displayed significant differences between measurements (automated vs. human expert readers, p > 0.05), in line with the results from the univariate Spearman's rank correlation coefficients, as well as the Passing and Bablok regression analysis. It was concluded that this pilot study demonstrates that 1H-MRS data from breast MRI can be automatically exported and interpreted by SpecTec-ULR 1.1 software. The diagnostic performance of this software was not inferior to human expert readers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere5054
Pages (from-to)e5054
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number2
Early online date04 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Breast Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Breast/diagnostic imaging
  • Choline/analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


Dive into the research topics of 'Automated analysis of the total choline resonance peak in breast proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this