Martin H. Deppe1, Jim M. Wild1
In imaging of hyperpolarized nuclei, balanced Steady-State Free Precession (bSSFP) sequences present a high SNR alternative to the most commonly used Spoiled Gradient Echo (SPGR) sequences. Because hyperpolarized nuclei are not at thermal equilibrium, the longitudinal magnetization does not recover during an imaging experiment, but decays to a negligible value with T1. This work presents analytical expressions for variable flip angle schedules that maintain constant transverse magnetization, optimizing the effective k-space filter imposed by decay of hyperpolarization, and hence reducing image blurring. The validity of the obtained expression is demonstrated in phantom experiments.