- Last Updated on 14 December 2016
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) is a neurodiagnostic procedure related to the more well known Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure. In similar fashion to MRI, MRS employs a magnetic field, variable radio frequencies, and a receiver to capture signals from hydrogen protons. Whereas MRI uses this information to generate anatomical images of tissues, MRS is used to determine the biochemical properties of tissues and their metabolite concentrations. The pattern and concentration of the compounds detected can be used to help identify the underlying cause of epilepsy and infantile spasms. It is specifically a useful tool to identify mitochondrial disorders, a variety of neurodegenerative disorders. Furthermore, MRS is often used to determine the presence, type, and aggressiveness of tumors. Examples of metabolites detected by MRS include: N-acetyl aspartate, creatine, myoinositol, choline, and lactate. MRS is usually performed at the same time as conventional MRI and uses the same machine. The procedure is a non-invasive and relatively straightforward examination typically lasting around 10 to 20 minutes.