In many studies, it has been demonstrated that 1H MRSI of the human prostate has great potential to aid prostate cancer management, e.g. in the detection and localisation of cancer foci in the prostate or in the assessment of its aggressiveness. It is particularly powerful in combination with T2-weighted MRI. Nevertheless, the technique is currently mainly used in a research setting. This review provides an overview of the state-of-the-art of three-dimensional MRSI, including the specific hardware required, dedicated data acquisition sequences and information on the spectral content with background on the MR-visible metabolites. In clinical practice, it is important that relevant MRSI results become available rapidly, reliably and in an easy digestible way. However, this functionality is currently not fully available for prostate MRSI, which is a major obstacle for routine use by inexperienced clinicians. Routine use requires more automation in the processing of raw data than is currently available. Therefore, we pay specific attention in this review on the status and prospects of the automated handling of prostate MRSI data, including quality control. The clinical potential of three-dimensional MRSI of the prostate is illustrated with literature examples on prostate cancer detection, its localisation in the prostate, its role in the assessment of cancer aggressiveness and in the selection and monitoring of therapy. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.