• SSFP;
  • b-SSFP;
  • fMRI;
  • diffusion;
  • oxygen;
  • brain;
  • transition-band;
  • passband


Balanced-steady-state free precession (b-SSFP) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) encompasses several recently developed methods that utilize b-SSFP acquisition for fMRI. Short repetition time (TR) and readout durations of b-SSFP allow distortion-free acquisition, 3D imaging, and high-resolution isotropic voxel acquisition. b-SSFP fMRI can be categorized into two different classes depending on which contrast mechanism it exploits. Transition-band b-SSFP fMRI is a technique that utilizes the sharp transition of the b-SSFP profile relying on the fact that oxygenated and deoxegenated hemoglobin has different resonance frequencies. On the other hand, passband b-SSFP fMRI utilizes b-SSFP in the relatively large flat portion of the b-SSFP off-resonance spectrum where oxygenation contrast is expected to be generated from the rapid refocusing in the presence of off-resonance due to oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin. While both methods share the advantage of b-SSFP acquisition such as distortion-free, 3D high-resolution functional imaging, the main distinction of the two methods come from the contrast mechanism and spatial coverage. In this article, the two classes of b-SSFP-based functional brain imaging methods' characteristics will be compared and discussed. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Imaging Syst Technol, 20, 23–30, 2010