A technique for generation of positive contrast near susceptibility alterations utilizing echo-shifts in k-space is introduced, based on altered Larmor-frequencies and resulting phase-shifts accumulating during the echo-time at the site of local magnetic field gradients. 3D gradient-echo raw-data is acquired and weighted with an inverse Hanning filter. The filter partly suppresses central raw-data points, while maintaining outer areas. Reconstruction of the filtered raw-data results in images where pixels with apparent magnetic field gradients are highlighted against homogeneous pixels. Further processing steps are introduced to remove remaining intensities in the homogeneous parts of the filtered image. Feasibility is shown by an agar phantom containing magnetically labeled cells, with concentrations of 25, 50, 100, and 250 cells/μL, and by images of the human head. The technique allows detection of echo-shifted pixels with automatic suppression of magnetically homogeneous parts while keeping post-processing time short. Fewer than four labeled cells per pixel were clearly displayed with positive contrast. Application to the human head shows bright veins and complete suppression of homogeneous regions. The presented technique has high potential for specific detection of low concentrations of labeled cells or susceptibility altered regions in vivo with positive contrast, whereas areas with low spin density are not highlighted. Magn Reson Med, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.