MR Spectroscopy

Magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy is a noninvasive diagnostic test for measuring biochemical changes in the brain, especially the presence of tumors. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) identifies the anatomical location of a tumor, MR spectroscopy compares the chemical composition of normal brain tissue with abnormal tumor tissue. This test can also be used to detect tissue changes in stroke and epilepsy. The test is performed using an MRI scanner.

For patient preparation instructions, please see MRI Brain.


  • Ordered when the etiology (the cause) of a lesion is unclear based on the known information.
  • Generally used to determine if it is a tumor or not.