Spectroscopic sampling of the left side of long-TE spin echoes: a free lunch?

  • Robert V. Mulkern
  • Mukund Balasubramanian
Research Article



Use of spectroscopically-acquired spin echoes typically involves Fourier transformation of the right side of the echo while largely neglecting the left side. For sufficiently long echo times, the left side may have enough spectral resolution to offer some utility. Since the acquisition of this side is “free”, we deemed it worthy of attention and investigated the spectral properties and information content of this data.

Materials and methods

Theoretical expressions for left- and right-side spectra were derived assuming Lorentzian frequency distributions. For left-side spectra, three regimes were identified based upon the relative magnitudes of reversible and irreversible transverse relaxation rates, R 2′ and R 2, respectively. Point-resolved spectroscopy (PRESS) data from muscle, fat deposit and bone marrow were acquired at 1.5 T to test aspects of the theoretical expressions.


For muscle water or methylene marrow resonances, left-side signals were substantially or moderately larger than right-side signals but were similar in magnitude for muscle choline and creatine resonances. Left- versus right-side spectral-peak amplitude ratios depend sensitively on the relative values of R 2 and R 2′ , which can be estimated given this ratio and a right-side linewidth measurement.


Left-side spectra can be used to augment signal-to-noise and to estimate spectral R 2 and R 2′ values under some circumstances.


Magnetic resonance spectroscopy Spectral resolution Signal-to-noise ratio Bloch-equation analysis 



Lorentzian transformation


Fourier transformation


Echo time


Repetition time


Radio frequency


Free induction decay


Point-resolved spectroscopy


Steady state free precession




Gradient-echo sampling of the spin echo


Full width at half maximum


Signal-to-noise ratio


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest with regard to this study.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from each individual participant included in this study.


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Copyright information

© ESMRMB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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