Improved myocardial tagging contrast in cine balanced SSFP images

El Sayed H. Ibrahim, Matthias Stuber, Michael Schär, Nael F. Osman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1159-1167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • CSPAMM tagging
  • Cardiac MRI
  • SNR
  • SPGR
  • SSFP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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