PURPOSE: To implement and evaluate a simultaneous multi-slice balanced SSFP (SMS-bSSFP) perfusion sequence and compressed sensing reconstruction for cardiac MR perfusion imaging with full left ventricular (LV) coverage (nine slices/heartbeat) and high spatial resolution (1.4 × 1.4 mm 2 ) at 1.5T.

METHODS: A preliminary study was performed to evaluate the performance of blipped controlled aliasing in parallel imaging (CAIPI) and RF-CAIPI with gradient-controlled local Larmor adjustment (GC-LOLA) in the presence of fat. A nine-slice SMS-bSSFP sequence using RF-CAIPI with GC-LOLA with high spatial resolution (1.4 × 1.4 mm 2 ) and a conventional three-slice sequence with conventional spatial resolution (1.9 × 1.9 mm 2 ) were then acquired in 10 patients under rest conditions. Qualitative assessment was performed to assess image quality and perceived signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on a 4-point scale (0: poor image quality/low SNR; 3: excellent image quality/high SNR), and the number of myocardial segments with diagnostic image quality was recorded. Quantitative measurements of myocardial sharpness and upslope index were performed.

RESULTS: Fat signal leakage was significantly higher for blipped CAIPI than for RF-CAIPI with GC-LOLA (7.9% vs. 1.2%, p = 0.010). All 10 SMS-bSSFP perfusion datasets resulted in 16/16 diagnostic myocardial segments. There were no significant differences between the SMS and conventional acquisitions in terms of image quality (2.6 ± 0.6 vs. 2.7 ± 0.2, p = 0.8) or perceived SNR (2.8 ± 0.3 vs. 2.7 ± 0.3, p = 0.3). Inter-reader variability was good for both image quality (ICC = 0.84) and perceived SNR (ICC = 0.70). Myocardial sharpness was improved using the SMS sequence compared to the conventional sequence (0.37 ± 0.08 vs 0.32 ± 0.05, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between measurements of upslope index for the SMS and conventional sequences (0.11 ± 0.04 vs. 0.11 ± 0.03, p = 0.84).

CONCLUSION: SMS-bSSFP with multiband factor 3 and compressed sensing reconstruction enables cardiac MR perfusion imaging with three-fold increased spatial coverage and improved myocardial sharpness compared to a conventional sequence, without compromising perceived SNR, image quality, upslope index or number of diagnostic segments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-675
Number of pages13
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Heart Ventricles/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement/methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Perfusion
  • Reproducibility of Results


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