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Influence of Off-resonance in myocardial T1-mapping using SSFP based MOLLI method

Peter Kellman1*, Daniel A Herzka2, Andrew E Arai1 and Michael Schacht Hansen1

Author Affiliations

1 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, 10 Center Drive MSC-1061, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

2 Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 2013, 15:63  doi:10.1186/1532-429X-15-63

Published: 22 July 2013



Myocardial T1-mapping methods such as MOLLI use SSFP readout and are prone to frequency-dependent error in T1-measurement. A significant error in T1 may result at relatively small off-resonance frequencies that are well within the region without banding artifacts.


The sensitivity of T1-estimates based on the SSFP based MOLLI sequence to errors in center frequency are calculated by means of a Bloch simulation and validated by phantom measurements. Typical off-resonance errors following local cardiac shimming are determined by field mapping at both 1.5 and 3.0T. In vivo examples demonstrate the artifactual appearance of T1-maps in the presence of off-resonance variation.


Off-resonance varied 61.8 ± 15.5 Hz (mean ± SD, n = 18) across the heart at 1.5T and 125.0 ± 40.6 Hz (mean ± SD, n = 18) at 3.0T. For T1 = 1000 ms, the variation in T1 due to off-resonance variation was approximately 20 ms at 62 Hz, and > 50 ms at 125 Hz.


Regional variations due to the inability to completely shim the B0-field variation around the heart appear as regional variation in T1, which is artifactual.

T1 map; Error; Off-resonance; MOLLI; Shim; SSFP