Blood attenuation with SSFP-compatible saturation (BASS)

Hung Yu Lin, Brian M. Dale, Chris A. Flask, Jeffrey L. Duerk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate a rapid flow-suppression method for improving the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) between the vessel wall and the lumen for cardiovascular imaging applications. Materials and Methods: In this study a new dark-blood steady-state free precession (SSFP) sequence utilizing two excitation pulses per TR was developed. The first pulse is applied immediately adjacent to the slice of interest, while the second is a conventional slice-selective pulse designed to excite an SSFP signal for the static spins in the slice of interest. The slice-selective pulse is followed by fully refocused gradients along all three imaging axes over each TR The signal amplitude (SA) from the moving spins excited by the "saturation" pulse is attenuated since they are not fully refocused at the TE. Results: This work provides confirmation, by both simulation and experiments, that modest adaptations of the basic True-FISP structure can limit unwanted "bright blood" signal within the vessels while simultaneously preserving the contrast and speed advantages of this well-established rapid imaging method. Conclusion: Animal imaging trials confirm that dark-blood contrast is achieved with the BASS sequence, which substantially reverses the lumen-to-muscle CNR of a conventional True-FISP "bright blood" acquisition from 14.77 (bright blood) to -13.96 (dark blood) with a modest increase (24.2% of regular TR of SSFP for this implementation) in acquisition time to accommodate the additional slab-selective excitation pulse and gradient pulses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-707
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Black blood
  • Dark blood
  • Flow suppression
  • Steady-state free precession
  • Vessel wall image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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