A theory for the behavior of the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signal obtained from magnetically heterogeneous tissues is developed for the limit of a strong external magnetic field. If BO is the magnitude of the external magnetic field, it is found that a free-induction signal decays in a time scaling as 1/Bo, a single-spin echo signal decays in a time scaling as 1/Bo(2/3), and a multiple-spin echo signal decays in a time scaling as 1/Bo(2). Moreover, it is shown that the form of the signal decay for a multiple-spin echo sequence may deviate significantly from an exponential. Numerical results for a model consisting of randomly distributed magnetic spheres are used to confirm the theory. In addition, good agreement is demonstrated between the theory and experimental measurements obtained with particle suspensions. The validity and application of the theory to biological tissues are discussed.