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On the transient phase of balanced SSFP sequences


Scheffler,  K
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Scheffler, K. (2003). On the transient phase of balanced SSFP sequences. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 49(4), 781-783. doi:10.1002/mrm.10421.

The signal intensity of balanced steady-state free precession (SSFP) imaging is a function of the proton density, T1, T2, flip angle (α), and repetition time (TR). The steady-state signal intensity that is established after about 5*T1/TR can be described analytically. The transient phase or the approach of the echo amplitudes to the steady state is an exponential decay from the initial amplitude after the first excitation pulse to the steady-state signal. An analytical expression of the decay rate of this transient phase is presented that is based on a simple analysis derived from the Bloch equations. The decay rate is a weighted average of the T1 and T2 relaxation times, where the weighting is determined by the flip angle of the excitation pulses. Thus, balanced SSFP imaging during the transient phase can provide various contrasts depending on the flip angle and the number of excitation pulses applied before the acquisition of the central k-space line. In addition, transient imaging of hyperpolarized nuclei, such as 3He, 129Xe, or 13C, can be optimized according to their T1 and T2 relaxation times.