The concept that high-resolution (8.5-T) hydrogen-1 magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy can be used as an adjunct to conventional histologic diagnosis of cervical neoplasia was investigated. Cervical biopsy specimens (n = 159) were examined with H-1 MR spectroscopy and the results compared with results of histopathologic analysis. A high-resolution lipid MR spectrum was observed in 39 of 40 invasive carcinomas, whereas the 119 preinvasive samples showed little or no lipid spectrum but were characterized by a strong unresolved resonance between 3.8 and 4.2 ppm. Peak ratios of the methylene/methyl and the unresolved/methylene resonances allowed accurate distinction between invasive and preinvasive epithelial malignancy (P < .0001). Since MR spectroscopic examination does not destroy the specimen, the specimens remained intact for further testing and histopathologic analysis. The authors conclude that H-1 MR spectroscopy can independently allow distinction between invasive and preinvasive lesions of the cervix and has the potential to assist in clinical management of cervical cancer.