The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of different fasting periods on the in vivo P-31-MR spectroscopy of the healthy liver and patients with liver metastases. Image-guided localized P-31-MRS was performed in 24 patients with liver metastases and in 20 healthy volunteers. The spectra were obtained with a whole body scanner operating at 1.5 T using a surface coil. The P-31-MRS was performed after a fasting period of 3-5 h (group 1) and after overnight fasting (group 2). The PME/β-NTP, PDE/β-NTP and Pi/β-NTP were calculated from P-31-MR spectra and were compared in relation to the nutrition status of the volunteers and patients. The PME/β-NTP and PDE/β-NTP were significantly increased in spectra of patients with metastases. There were no significant changes in the ratios of phosphorus metabolites in healthy liver tissue or in liver metastases after a fasting period of 3-5 h as compared with overnight fasting.