Purpose: To improve the tag persistence throughout the whole cardiac cycle by providing a constant tag-contrast throughout all the cardiac phases when using balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) imaging. Materials and Methods: The flip angles of the imaging radiofrequency pulses were optimized to compensate for the tagging contrast-to-noise ratio (Tag-CNR) fading at later cardiac phases in bSSFP imaging. Complementary spatial modulation of magnetization (CSPAMM) tagging was implemented to improve the Tag-CNR. Numerical simulations were performed to examine the behavior of the Tag-CNR with the proposed method, and to compare the resulting Tag-CNR with that obtained from the more commonly used spoiled gradient echo (SPGR) imaging. A gel phantom, as well as five healthy human volunteers, were scanned on a 1.5T scanner using bSSFP imaging with and without the proposed technique. The phantom was also scanned with SPGR imaging. Results: With the proposed technique, the Tag-CNR remained almost constant during the whole cardiac cycle. Using bSSFP imaging, the Tag-CNR was about double that of SPGR. Conclusion: The tag persistence was significantly improved when the proposed method was applied, with better Tag-CNR during the diastolic cardiac phase. The improved Tag-CNR will support automated tagging analysis and quantification methods.
- CSPAMM tagging
- Cardiac MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging