Localized hydrogen-1 magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy and fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) were employed to obtain metabolic information from intracranial gliomas. Advantages and difficulties associated with comparison of results from the two modalities were realized. Forty patients were studied with H-1 MR spectroscopy. MR signal intensities from lactate, N-acetylaspartate (NAA), choline, and creatine from a volume of interest containing the tumor and a contralateral volume were obtained and evaluated. NAA signal intensities were generally decreased in the tumor spectra, and choline signal intensities were elevated. H-1 MR spectroscopy was unsuccessful in eight patients, and FDG PET scans were not obtained in four of the patients with successful MR spectroscopic examinations. Lactate signal intensity was detected in 10 of the 28 patients who had successful H-1 MR spectroscopic and FDG PET studies. Lactate signal intensities were observed in lesions shown at FDG PET to be hypermetabolic, as well as in lesions found to be hypometabolic.