National Coverage Determination (NCD)

Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy


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Tracking Information

Publication Number
Manual Section Number
Manual Section Title
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Version Number
Effective Date of this Version
Ending Effective Date of this Version
Implementation Date

Description Information

Benefit Category
Diagnostic Tests (other)
Physicians' Services

Please Note: This may not be an exhaustive list of all applicable Medicare benefit categories for this item or service.

Item/Service Description

A. General

MRS is an application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is a non-invasive diagnostic test that uses strong magnetic fields to measure and analyze the chemical composition of human tissues. On March 22, 1994, CMS considered MRS an investigational procedure and issued a national noncoverage determination for all indications of MRS.

Indications and Limitations of Coverage

B. Nationally Covered Indications

Not applicable.

C. Nationally Noncovered Indications

After thorough review and reconsideration of the existing national noncoverage determination for MRS, as well as the available evidence for the use of MRS as a diagnostic tool for distinguishing indeterminate brain lesions, and/or as an aid in conducting brain biopsies, CMS has determined that the evidence is not adequate to conclude that MRS is reasonable and necessary within the meaning of section 1862(a)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act, for use in the diagnosis of brain tumors.  Therefore, CMS reaffirms its current national noncoverage determination for all indications of MRS.

D. Other

Not applicable.

(This NCD last reviewed September 2004.)

Cross Reference
Also see NCDs on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (§220.2) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (§220.3).

Transmittal Information

Transmittal Number
TN 21
Revision History

09/2004 - Reaffirmed existing noncoverage policy for all indications of MRS. Effective and implementation dates 9/10/2004. (TN 21) (CR 3425)

National Coverage Analyses (NCAs)

This NCD has been or is currently being reviewed under the National Coverage Determination process. The following are existing associations with NCAs, from the National Coverage Analyses database.

Additional Information

Other Versions
Title Version Effective Between
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy - RETIRED 3 04/10/2023 - 01/01/2021 View
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy 2 01/01/2021 - 01/01/2021 View
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy 1 09/10/2004 - 01/01/2021 You are here