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Characterization of human ovarian epithelial tumors (ex vivo) by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  1. W. B. Mackinnon,
  2. G. L. May,
  3. C. E. Mountford and
  4. P. Russell*
  1. Membrane MR Unit, Cancer Medicine, University of Sydney, and
  2. * Department of Anatomical Pathology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr W. B. Mackinnon, Membrane MR Unit, Cancer Medicine, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) offers an alternative investigational modality that will assist current pathologic techniques in the diagnosis of human ovarian epithelial tumors. Histologically normal human ovarian tissue (n = 12) was compared with ovarian benign fibromas (n = 3) and surface epithelial-stromal tumors (benign, n = 18; proliferating, n = 9; frankly malignant, n = 30) ex vivo by 1H MRS. The distinction between carcinomatous and benign or normal tissue (P<0.0001; Student's t-test) was made on one-dimensional (1-D) 1H MR spectra utilizing differences in resonance intensities of cellular lipid, creatine/phosphocreatine and lysine. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were 87% and 91%, respectively. Two-dimensional (2-D) MRS of carcinomatous biopsies showed multiple crosspeaks attributable to cell-surface fucosylation that correlated with tumor grade and loss of cellular differentiation. The multiple fucose crosspeaks were absent in spectra from normal ovary and benign tumors. The distinction between carcinomatous and normal or benign tissue based on MR-visible fucosylation gave a sensitivity and specificity of 88% and 97%, respectively. Proliferating tumors exhibited a range of cell-surface fucosylation patterns indicative of malignant potential.

  • ex vivo
  • human ovary
  • 1H MRS.

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