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Hind limb skeletal muscle was studied in vivo in a rat trauma model using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The model used was a 25% body surface area, full-thickness burn administered under anaesthesia. Two groups of six rats were studied. Weight loss was observed in the experimental group whilst the control group continued to gain weight. Concentration ratios involving intramyocellular phosphocreatine (PCr), creatine (Cr), adenosine triphosphate (ATP), inorganic phosphate (Pi), anserine (Ans) and taurine (Tau) were measured. No change in the ratios of PCr/Pi, PCr/ATP, Ans/PCr + Cr and Tau/PCr + Cr were seen between the two groups. Intracellular pH was the same in the two groups. NMR spectroscopy in vivo gives values of Pi and PCr that differ from those obtained by conventional techniques. NMR values are probably more accurate as no degradation occurs during measurement, the measurements being repeatable and noninvasive.