Ultrafast Pulse Sequence Techniques for Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging is a rapidly emerging field that has seen tremendous advances in the past decade. Central to the development of effective imaging strategies has been the advent of high-performance gradient hardware and the exploitation of their speed characteristics through specialized pulse sequences well suited for cardiac imaging. These advances have facilitated unprecedented acquisition times that now approach echocardiographic frame rates, while maintaining excellent image quality. This article provides a detailed overview of advanced pulse sequence technology and approaches currently taken to maximize speed performance and image quality. In particular, segmented κ-space techniques that include single-echo and multiecho spoiled gradient-echo imaging as well as steady-state free precession imaging are discussed. Finally, spiral and fast spin-echo techniques are explored. Examples of common applications of these pulse sequences are presented.

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