Biochemical investigation of human tumours in vivo with phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Lancet. 1986 Jul 5;2(8497):8-11. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(86)92558-4.


The bioenergetic state of 15 human tumours was examined with phosphorus-31 magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A striking diversity in metabolic patterns was observed, and significant differences from normal tissue were seen in all cases. A common feature was an elevation of intracellular pH, which may be related to an increase in Na+/H+ exchange during cell activation. It is unlikely that the patterns observed directly correlate with malignancy, but characterisation of the energetic state of a given tumour in a given physiological environment may help in the design and evaluation of interventions for that specific case.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Liver Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes*
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods*


  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes