Volume selective magnetic resonance (MR) proton spectroscopy was used to investigate changes in the haemopoietic bone marrow in patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO). Significant changes could be detected in the spectra 14 days after the beginning of treatment, before any response was seen in the haemoglobin concentration of peripheral blood. The spectral changes indicate an alteration in cellular composition of haemopoietic bone marrow with an increase in the amount of haemopoietic active tissue. One patient showed a major change in the spectrum four days after treatment began, indicating that MR spectroscopy may detect early changes in the cellular composition of the bone marrow. This noninvasive method may be useful in evaluating treatment effects of recombinant human haemopoietic growth factors in the bone marrow, as well as investigating bone marrow response from different modes of rHuEPO administration.