Spectroscopic signals which emanate from complexes between paramagnetic lanthanide (III) ions (e.g. Tm3+) and macrocyclic chelates (e.g. 1,4,7,10-tetramethyl-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetate, or DOTMA4–) are sensitive to physiology (e.g. temperature). Because nonexchanging protons from these lanthanide-based macrocyclic agents have relaxation times on the order of a few milliseconds, rapid data acquisition is possible with chemical shift imaging (CSI). Thus, Biosensor Imaging of Redundant Deviation in Shifts (BIRDS) which originate from nonexchanging protons of these paramagnetic agents, but exclude water proton detection, can allow molecular imaging. Previous two-dimensional CSI experiments with such lanthanide-based macrocyclics allowed acquisition from ~12-μL voxels in rat brain within 5 min using rectangular encoding of k space. Because cubical encoding of k space in three dimensions for whole-brain coverage increases the CSI acquisition time to several tens of minutes or more, a faster CSI technique is required for BIRDS to be of practical use. Here, we demonstrate a CSI acquisition method to improve three-dimensional molecular imaging capabilities with lanthanide-based macrocyclics. Using TmDOTMA–, we show datasets from a 20 × 20 × 20-mm3 field of view with voxels of ~1 μL effective volume acquired within 5 min (at 11.7 T) for temperature mapping. By employing reduced spherical encoding with Gaussian weighting (RESEGAW) instead of cubical encoding of k space, a significant increase in CSI signal is obtained. In vitro and in vivo three-dimensional CSI data with TmDOTMA–, and presumably similar lanthanide-based macrocyclics, suggest that acquisition using RESEGAW can be used for high spatiotemporal resolution molecular mapping with BIRDS. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.