Balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) techniques provide excellent contrast between myocardium and blood at a high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Hence, SSFP imaging has become the method of choice for assessing cardiac function at 1.5T. The expected improvement in SNR at higher field strength prompted us to implement SSFP at 3.0T. In this work, an optimized sequence protocol for cardiac SSFP imaging at 3.0T is derived, taking into account several partly adverse effects at higher field, such as increased field inhomogeneities, longer T1, and power deposition limitations. SSFP contrast is established by optimizing the maximum amplitude of the radiofrequency (RF) field strength for shortest TR, as well as by localized linear or second-order shimming and local optimization of the resonance frequency. Given the increased SNR, sensitivity encoding (SENSE) can be employed to shorten breath-hold times. Short-axis, long-axis, and four-chamber cine views obtained in healthy adult subjects are presented, and three different types of artifacts are discussed along with potential methods for reducing them.
- 3 Tesla
- Higher-order shimming
- Localized frequency determination
- Localized shimming
- Steady-state free precession (SSFP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging