Clinical MR spectroscopy: fundamentals, current applications, and future potential

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1995 Jun;164(6):1337-47. doi: 10.2214/ajr.164.6.7754871.


In 1959, Dr. Erik Odeblad, a physician, wrote about nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR): "NMR really seems to possess extensive possibilities to help study, in a non-invasive way, many problems in biology and medicine ... When instruments for NMR become more common and available at medical laboratories, we may expect direct routine clinical diagnosis with this new technique" [1]. This 1959 prediction has become a reality in 1995, when examinations using MR spectroscopy and MR imaging are allowing physicians direct routine clinical diagnoses that were previously unobtainable by other radiologic or clinical tests. Many questions are commonly asked about MR spectroscopy, its use, and its applications. The purpose of this article is to answer some of these questions, provide an introduction to MR spectroscopy, review some current clinical applications, and speculate on the future potential of this technique.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy* / methods