1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy can be used noninvasively to detect the proximal histidyl Nδ proton signals of deoxymyoglobin in the myocardium. However, the quantification of deoxymyoglobin is based on the assumption that the deoxymyoglobin signal detected is not contaminated by the deoxyhemoglobin signals contributed from the blood. The purpose of this study was to conduct in vitro and in vivo 1H NMR studies to examine the in vivo NMR visibility of deoxyhemoglobin in the myocardium. The results demonstrate that the NMR visibility of α and β subunits of deoxyhemoglobin is sensitive to the pulse width for spin excitation because of short T2 relaxation times, and they are not NMR visible in the canine myocardium in vivo at 4.7 T when a 0.5-1.0 msec long Gaussian excitation pulse is used. Therefore, the resonance peak detected at ~ 72 ppm (relative to the water resonance) in the ischemic canine myocardium in vivo is dominated by deoxymyoglobin.