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The purpose of this work was to quantify the impact of contrast agents on short-TE single-voxel 1H MR spectroscopy (MRS) diagnosis of recurrent brain tumors.Short-TE 1H MRS was performed in 49 patients with biopsy-proven brain tumors and 14 control subjects. Eight patients (nine paired exams) were examined before and after administration of Gd-DTPA (interval approximately 5–7 min).Tumor spectra showed increased choline/creatine ratio (Cho/Cr; p < 0.009) and Cho concentrations (p < 0.02). Receiver operator characteristic for Cho/Cr = 0.93 differentiated 100% of tumors from control in the absence or presence of contrast agent. Repeated 1H MRS varied <3%. Cho T2 was significantly longer than Cr T2 (p < 0.02).Proton MRS with TE of 30 ms may safely be used in combined contrast-enhanced MRI/MRS protocols. Further study is required with long-TE MRS because of the prolonged T2 of Cho.