Steady State Free Precession (SSFP): Function

Imaging Sequence Type:

  • FIESTA (GE), TrueFISP (Siemens), Balanced FFE (Philips), True SSFP (Toshiba)
  • Acquisition generally occurs over several heartbeats, but within a breathhold

Acquisition Mode:

  • Single slice, mutliphase (i.e. a single slice cine can be acquired with each breathhold)
  • Multislice, single phase (i.e. a series of image locations, one image per location, each at a slightly different cardiac phase)

Image Contrast:

  • Bright Blood
  • T2/T1 (signal directly related to the tissue’s T2 and inversely related to its T1): mixed weighting

Imaging Options:

  • Fat and water in phase
  • Fat and water out of phase

Clinical Utility:

  • Best sequence to assess cardiac function
  • Bright blood even with slow flow
  • Typically shorter TR than with gradient echo imaging -implies shorter breathholds or higher spatial resolution for the same breathhold time.
  • Less sensitive for detecting turbulent flow due to valvular disease or intracardiac shunts (short TE)
  • Flow artifacts due off-resonance effects: worse with longer TRs,  nearby feromagnetic implants, and higher field strengths (e.g. 3T).