It has been observed that the signal amplitude of multiplet resonances such as the 1H doublet resonance of lactate varies with pulse sequence timing when echo-driven volume selective methods such as point resolved spectroscopy are used. Herein a standard vectorial description is presented for the mechanism of this artifact, which results from the chemical shift between homonuclear scalar-coupled (i.e., J coupled) nuclei. The chemical shift causes the extent of a signal phase modulation to vary for different spatial regions of the excited voxel. This variation results in spatial interference effects that can lead to marked loss of signal intensity as well as corruption of the size and shape of the voxel from which signal is obtained. The phenomenon is substantial at an imaging field of 1.5 T and becomes especially pronounced at higher field strengths. Several strategies to avoid the artifact are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Functional imaging
  • Functional spectroscopy
  • Lactate
  • Scalar coupling


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