The spins (protons) go out of phase in the transverse plane when the Rf pulse is switched of. This dephasing is due to static magnetic field inhomogeneities intrinsic (i.e. susceptibility changes at tissue interfaces) and extrinsic (i.e. field inhomogeneities of the main magnetic field) to the examined object.
See also T2*.
Flow effects in MRI produce a range of artifacts, e.g. intravascular signal void by time of flight effects; turbulent dephasing and first echodephasing, caused by flowing blood.
Through movement of the hydrogen nuclei (e.g. blood flow), there is a location change between the time these nuclei experience a radio frequency pulse and the time the emitted signal is received (because the repetition time is asynchronous with the pulsatile flow).
The blood flow occasionally produces intravascular high signal intensities due to flow related enhancement, even echo rephasing and diastolic pseudogating. The pulsatile laminar flow within vessels often produces a complex multilayered band that usually propagates outside the head in the phase encoded direction. Blood flow artifacts should be considered as a special subgroup of motion artifacts.