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Acta Radiol Open. 2017 Nov 21;6(11):2058460117729186. doi: 10.1177/2058460117729186. eCollection 2017 Nov.

Influence of longitudinal position on the evolution of steady-state signal in cardiac cine balanced steady-state free precession imaging.

Author information

Saha Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
Department of Physiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
Gill Heart Institute, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.



Emerging quantitative cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) techniques use cine balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) to measure myocardial signal intensity and probe underlying physiological parameters. This correlation assumes that steady-state is maintained uniformly throughout the heart in space and time.


To determine the effects of longitudinal cardiac motion and initial slice position on signal deviation in cine bSSFP imaging by comparing two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) acquisitions.

Material and Methods:

Nine healthy volunteers completed cardiac MRI on a 1.5-T scanner. Short axis images were taken at six slice locations using both 2D and 3D cine bSSFP. 3D acquisitions spanned two slices above and below selected slice locations. Changes in myocardial signal intensity were measured across the cardiac cycle and compared to longitudinal shortening.


For 2D cine bSSFP, 46% ± 9% of all frames and 84% ± 13% of end-diastolic frames remained within 10% of initial signal intensity. For 3D cine bSSFP the proportions increased to 87% ± 8% and 97% ± 5%. There was no correlation between longitudinal shortening and peak changes in myocardial signal. The initial slice position significantly impacted peak changes in signal intensity for 2D sequences (P < 0.001).


The initial longitudinal slice location significantly impacts the magnitude of deviation from steady-state in 2D cine bSSFP that is only restored at the center of a 3D excitation volume. During diastole, a transient steady-state is established similar to that achieved with 3D cine bSSFP regardless of slice location.


3D; cardiac motion; heart; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); steady-state imaging

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