To explain the signal behavior in 2D-TrueFISP imaging, a slice excitation profile should be considered that describes a variation of effective flip angles and magnetization phases after excitation. These parameters can be incorporated into steady-state equations to predict the final signal within a pixel. The use of steady-state equations assumes that excitation occurs instantaneously, although in reality this is a nonlinear process. In addition, often the flip angle variation within the slice excitation profile is solely considered when using steady-state equations, while TrueFISP is especially known for its sensitivity to phase variations. The purpose of this study was therefore to evaluate the precision of steady-state equations in calculating signal intensities in 2D TrueFISP imaging. To that end, steady-state slice profiles and corresponding signal intensities were calculated as function of flip angle, RF phase advance and pulse shape. More complex Bloch simulations were considered as a gold standard, which described every excitation within the sequence until steady state was reached. They were used to analyze two different methods based on steady-state equations. In addition, measurements on phantoms were done with corresponding imaging parameters. Although the Bloch simulations described the steady-state slice profile formation better than methods based on steady-state equations, the latter performed well in predicting the steady-state signal resulting from it. In certain cases the phase variation within the slice excitation profile did not even have to be taken into account. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.