Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)

Author:  Gesche Tallen, MD, PhD, Editor:  Maria Yiallouros, Reviewer:  Prof. Dr. med. Ursula Creutzig, English Translation:  Hannah McRae, Last modification: 2015/04/22

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) allows doctors and researchers to obtain information on the metabolic characteristics of tissues of the human body.

For example, whereas MRI can tell doctors where a tumour is located within a patient's body, MRS can give them information on how aggressive (malignant) the tumour might be. In special cases, MRS can help distinguish between tumor tissue and inflammatory or dead tissue. This is important information for assessing a cancer's response to treatment, for example. Like MRI, MRS makes use of magnetic fields and does not require a patient's exposure to ionising radiation.

The results of an MRS are usually interpreted by a paediatric radiologist. An MRI scan is usually only performed on children or teenagers (under 18 years of age) after an informed consent has been obtained by the parent or legal guardian.