Travis B. Smith1, Zungho Zun1, Eric Wong2, Krishna S. Nayak1
1Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 2Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA
Tissue characterization by MRI often involves the subtraction of images obtained with and without a preparation of the longitudinal magnetization (e.g. T2 preparation, arterial spin labeling, and diffusion preparation). Studies that use snapshot balanced steady state free precession typically utilize a brief catalyzation and constant flip angle during acquisition to reach the steady state more quickly. We introduce variable flip angle schedules optimized for the detection of differences in the longitudinal magnetization of the tissue of interest based on its relaxation times. In myocardium, this approach is shown to achieve 18% higher SNR in difference images compared to the conventional approach.