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Magn Reson Med. 2007 Aug;58(2):365-72.

Inversion-recovery-prepared SSFP for cardiac-phase-resolved delayed-enhancement MRI.

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Department of Imaging Research, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DE-MRI) can be used to visualize myocardial infarction (MI). DE-MRI is conventionally acquired with an inversion-recovery gradient-echo (IR-GRE) pulse sequence that yields a single bright-blood image. IR-GRE imaging requires an accurate estimate of the inversion time (TI) to null the signal from the myocardium, and a separate cine acquisition is required to visualize myocardial wall motion. Simulations were performed to examine the effects of a steady-state free precession (SSFP) readout after an inversion pulse in the setting of DE-MRI. Using these simulations, a segmented IR-SSFP sequence was optimized for infarct visualization. This sequence yields both viability and wall motion images over the cardiac cycle in a single breath-hold. Viability images at multiple effective TIs are produced, providing a range of image contrasts. In a study of 11 patients, IR-SSFP yielded infarct sizes and left ventricular ejection fractions (LVEFs) similar to those obtained by IR-GRE and standard SSFP, respectively. IR-SSFP images yielded improved visualization of the infarct-blood border because of the simultaneous nulling of healthy myocardium and blood. T(1) (*) recovery curves were extracted from IR-SSFP images and showed excellent qualitative agreement with theoretical simulations.

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