• 3.0 T;
  • gynaecological neoplasms;
  • MRS

Background  Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) uses the same hardware as MR imaging and allows us to analyse the biochemistry of tissues in vivo. Published data for gynaecological lesions are limited and are largely based on MRS carried out at the lower magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla (T).

Objective  The purpose of this study was to determine whether in vivo proton MRS could be performed at the higher magnetic field strength of 3 T to characterise the spectra of a variety of benign and malignant gynaecological lesions.

Design  Prospective, non-randomised study.

Setting  MRI department within a tertiary referral centre for gynaecological cancers.

Sample  All women with a pelvic mass under going 3T MRI.

Methods  We carried out MRS on nonrandomised women undergoing routine 3 T MRI within our MRI department during investigation for gynaecological lesions from February 2006 to April 2008. Only those women for whom histopathological data were available were included.

Main outcome measures  The presence of choline detected by in vivo 3T MRS.

Results  Eighty-seven women underwent MRS, 57 of whom had newly diagnosed neoplasms. MRS data for 39 of these new women (18 were excluded because of technical errors or missing data) were used to detect the presence of choline, an indicator of basement membrane turnover. Overall, choline was present in 13 of the 14 ovarian cancers, 8 of the 11 cervical tumours and all 4 of the uterine cancers. There was no statistical significant difference between choline levels in various lesion types (P= 0.735) or between benign and malignant disease (P= 0.550).

Conclusions In vivo MRS can be performed at 3 T to provide biochemical information on pelvic lesions. The way in which this information can be utilised is less clear but may be incorporated into monitoring tissue response in cancer treatments.