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January 1963

Fatty Acid Analysis of Brain Tumors by Gas Phase Chromatography

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pathology, Neurology, and Neurosurgery, Albany Medical College.

Arch Neurol. 1963;8(1):50-55. doi:10.1001/archneur.1963.00460010066007

Brain tissue is characterized by a high lipid content in which there are 3 major classes: neutral lipids, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids.1 Since individual lipids,2 except cholesterol, have ester-linked fatty acids and ether-linked aldehydes, it is apparent that the fatty acid pattern for precise areas of brain tissue would be an excellent screening procedure for localized or generalized lipid disturbance. After the demonstration of any abnormal fatty acid pattern, local intensive biochemical lipid studies could be initiated. Such a per cent distribution of fatty acids from C12 (myristic) to C18:2 (linoleic) can be rapidly determined by gas phase chromatography. The advantages of gas phase chromatography include rapid identification, reproducibility, and above all the ability to utilize minute, 100 to 500 mg. samples of tissue. Previously Baker3 showed that lower acids C8-C12 (caprylic to myristic) were found only in traces in all regions of the brain studied. Although the

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