Karla L. Miller1, Peter Jezzard1
1FMRIB Centre, Oxford University, Oxford, Oxon, UK
We study a novel contrast mechanism based on the frequency dependence of the balanced SSFP signal. The balanced SSFP profile is theoretically symmetric with respect to frequency if only T1, T2 and diffusion effects are considered. However, the convolution model for the SSFP signal predicts that the profile becomes asymmetric for asymmetric lineshapes. Asymmetries are observed in white matter. The model is fit to data using a simple lineshape parameterization, and data is shown to be consistent with lineshape effects at small frequency offsets. SSFP asymmetries may be a sensitive marker of tissue microstructure, as reflected by small frequency shifts.