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To evaluate application of MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to monitor bone marrow cellularity during pretransplant priming with chemotherapy and hematopoietic growth factor (HGF) administration.A total of 10 lymphoma and myeloma patients, in remission following induction therapy and considered eligible for high-dose therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, were included in the study. MR investigation was scheduled four times: at study entry, and one, two, and four weeks following priming. Priming with cyclophosphamide and recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) started the day after study entry. MR parameters studied in a region of interest were as follows: bone marrow intensity on short-time inversion-recovery (STIR) turbo spin-echo (TSE; thus STIRTSE) and on T1-weighted TSE (T1TSE) images, T2 value for fat component, T2 value for water component, water/fat ratio (W/F), T1 value for fat component, and T1 value for water component.The results did not support the hypothesis that hematopoietic expansion quantitated and monitored by MR correlates to the level of mobilized progenitor cells.The results indicate that release of stem cells is a more complex phenomenon than hematopoietic expansion and reduction of fat tissue in bone marrow.