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In addition to direct assessment of high energy phosphorus containing metabolite content within tissues, phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS) provides options to measure phospholipid metabolites and cellular pH, as well as the kinetics of chemical reactions of energy metabolism in vivo. Even though the great potential of 31P-MR was recognized over 30 years ago, modern MR systems, as well as new, dedicated hardware and measurement techniques provide further opportunities for research of human biochemistry. This paper presents a methodological overview of the 31P-MR techniques that can be used for basic, physiological, or clinical research of human skeletal muscle and liver in vivo. Practical issues of 31P-MRS experiments and examples of potential applications are also provided. As signal localization is essential for liver 31P-MRS and is important for dynamic muscle examinations as well, typical localization strategies for 31P-MR are also described.

Original publication




Journal article


Anal Biochem

Publication Date





193 - 215


Energy metabolism, Exercise-recovery, Liver, Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Saturation transfer, Skeletal muscle, Animals, Energy Metabolism, Humans, Liver, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Models, Biological, Muscle, Skeletal, Phosphorus Isotopes