Refocused steady-state free precession (SSFP), or fast imaging with steady precession (FISP or TrueFISP), has recently proven valuable for cardiac imaging because of its high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and excellent blood-myocardium contrast. In this study, various implementations of multiecho SSFP or EPI-SSFP for imaging in the heart are presented. EPI-SSFP has higher scan-time efficiency than single-echo SSFP, as two or more phase-encode lines are acquired per repetition time (TR) at the cost of a modest increase in TR. To minimize TR, a noninter-leaved phase-encode order in conjunction with a phased-array ghost elimination (PAGE) technique was employed, removing the need for echo time shifting (ETS). The multishot implementation of EPI-SSFP was used to decrease the breath-hold duration for cine acquisitions or to increase the temporal or spatial resolution for a fixed breath-hold duration. The greatest gain in efficiency was obtained with the use of a three-echo acquisition. Image quality for cardiac cine applications using multishot EPI-SSFP was comparable to that of single-echo SSFP in terms of blood-myocardium contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). The PAGE method considerably reduced flow artifacts due to both the inherent ghost suppression and the concomitant reduction in phase-encode blip size. The increased TR of multishot EPI-SSFP led to a reduced specific absorption rate (SAR) for a fixed RF flip angle, and allowed the use of a larger flip angle without increasing the SAR above the FDA-approved limits.
- Cardiac imaging
- Fast magnetic resonance imaging
- Ghost artifacts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging