In vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy of breast cancer: a review of the literature

Breast Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 19;14(2):207. doi: 10.1186/bcr3132.


An emerging clinical modality called proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) enables the non-invasive in vivo assessment of tissue metabolism and is demonstrating applications in improving the specificity of MR breast lesion diagnosis and monitoring tumour responsiveness to neoadjuvant chemotherapies. Variations in the concentration of choline-based cellular metabolites, detectable with (1)H-MRS, have shown an association with malignant transformation of tissue in in vivo and in vitro studies. (1)H-MRS exists as an adjunct to the current routine clinical breast MR examination. This review serves as an introduction to the field of breast (1)H-MRS, discusses modern high-field strength and quantitative approaches and technical considerations, and reviews the literature with respect to the application of (1)H-MRS for breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Choline / metabolism
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Protons


  • Contrast Media
  • Protons
  • Gadolinium
  • Choline