Correction of frequency drifts induced by gradient heating in 1H spectra using interleaved reference spectroscopy

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Mar;33(3):748-54. doi: 10.1002/jmri.22471.


Purpose: To evaluate the impact of heating-induced frequency drifts on single-voxel spectroscopy and to demonstrate correction strategies based on the interleaved reference scan technique.

Materials and methods: Frequency drifts induced by gradient heating are assessed for two clinical 3 Tesla (T) whole body MR systems. The interleaved reference scan (IRS) method is used for correcting these frequency drifts in 1H spectra in vitro and in vivo. For severely drift-affected spectroscopy experiments, a feedback-based version of the IRS sequence is proposed, which adds the functionality of a frequency lock to prevent a degradation of the water suppression.

Results: It is shown that the line widths of the spectral resonances can be largely reduced with the interleaved reference scan method, resulting in considerably improved peak resolution and signal-to-noise ratio. The feedback-based IRS method additionally allows for stable water suppression, even in the presence of very strong frequency drifts.

Conclusion: If spectroscopy scans are combined with imaging scans with a high gradient duty cycle such as diffusion-weighted imaging or functional MRI, a drift correction with IRS can considerably improve the validity of data analysis in research studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectrophotometry / methods
  • Water / chemistry


  • Water