Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (H-1-MRS) of the brain reveals specific biochemical information about cerebral metabolites, which may support clinical diagnoses and enhance the understanding of neurological disorders. The advantages of performing H-1-MRS at higher field strengths include better signal to noise ratio (SNR) and increased spectral, spatial and temporal resolution, allowing the acquisition of high quality, easily quantifiable spectra in acceptable imaging times. In addition to improved measurement precision of N-acetylaspartate, choline, creatine and myo-inositol, high-field systems allow the high-resolution measurement of other metabolites, such as glutamate, glutamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, scyllo-inositol, aspartate, taurine, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, glucose and branched amino acids, thus extending the range of metabolic information. However, these advantages may be hampered by intrinsic field-dependent technical difficulties, such as decreased T2 signal, chemical shift dispersion errors, J-modulation anomalies, increased magnetic susceptibility, eddy current artifacts, limitations in the design of homogeneous and sensitive radiofrequency (RF) coils, magnetic field instability and safety issues. Several studies demonstrated that these limitations could be overcome, suggesting that the appropriate optimization of high-field H-1-MRS would expand the application in the fields of clinical research and diagnostic routine. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.