On the voxel size and magnetic field strength dependence of spectral resolution in magnetic resonance spectroscopy

Roman Fleysher, Lazar Fleysher, Songtao Liu, Oded Gonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


While the inherent low sensitivity of in vivo MR spectroscopy motivated a trend towards higher magnetic fields, B0, it has since become apparent that this increase does not seem to translate into the anticipated improvement in spectral resolution. This is attributed to the decrease of the transverse relaxation time, T2*, in vivo due to macro- and mesoscopic tissue susceptibility. Using spectral contrast-to-noise ratio (SCNR) arguments, we show that if in biological systems the linewidth (on the frequency scale) increases linearly with the field, the spectral resolution (in parts per million) improves approximately as the fifth-root of B0 for chemically shifted lines and decreases as about B04/5 (in hertz) for a structure of J-coupled multiplets. It is also shown that for any given B0 there is a unique voxel size that is optimal in spectral resolution, linking the spectral and spatial resolutions. Since in practical applications the spatial resolution may be dictated by the target anatomy, nomograms to determine the B0 required to achieve the desired spectral resolution at that voxel size are presented. More generally, the scaling of the nomograms to determine the achievable spectral and spatial resolutions at any given field is described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-232
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Contrast-to-noise-ratio (CNR)
  • High-magnetic-field
  • MR spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Signal acquisition
  • Spatial resolution
  • Spectral resolution


Dive into the research topics of 'On the voxel size and magnetic field strength dependence of spectral resolution in magnetic resonance spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this