Correcting frequency and phase offsets in MRS data using robust spectral registration

NMR Biomed. 2020 Oct;33(10):e4368. doi: 10.1002/nbm.4368. Epub 2020 Jul 12.


An algorithm for retrospective correction of frequency and phase offsets in MRS data is presented. The algorithm, termed robust spectral registration (rSR), contains a set of subroutines designed to robustly align individual transients in a given dataset even in cases of significant frequency and phase offsets or unstable lipid contamination and residual water signals. Data acquired by complex multiplexed editing approaches with distinct subspectral profiles are also accurately aligned. Automated removal of unstable lipid contamination and residual water signals is applied first, when needed. Frequency and phase offsets are corrected in the time domain by aligning each transient to a weighted average reference in a statistically optimal order using nonlinear least-squares optimization. The alignment of subspectra in edited datasets is performed using an approach that specifically targets subtraction artifacts in the frequency domain. Weighted averaging is then used for signal averaging to down-weight poorer-quality transients. Algorithm performance was assessed on one simulated and 67 in vivo pediatric GABA-/GSH-edited HERMES datasets and compared with the performance of a multistep correction method previously developed for aligning HERMES data. The performance of the novel approach was quantitatively assessed by comparing the estimated frequency/phase offsets against the known values for the simulated dataset or by examining the presence of subtraction artifacts in the in vivo data. Spectral quality was improved following robust alignment, especially in cases of significant spectral distortion. rSR reduced more subtraction artifacts than the multistep method in 64% of the GABA difference spectra and 75% of the GSH difference spectra. rSR overcomes the major challenges of frequency and phase correction.

Keywords: HERMES; edited MRS; frequency correction; phase correction; spectral registration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Child
  • Databases as Topic
  • Glutathione
  • Humans
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Water / chemistry
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid


  • Lipids
  • Water
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutathione