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Functional MRI in human subjects with gradient-echo and spin-echo EPI at 9.4 T

MPS-Authors
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83838

Budde,  J
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84213

Shajan,  G
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84187

Zaitsev M, Scheffler,  K
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84145

Pohmann,  R
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Budde, J., Shajan, G., Zaitsev M, Scheffler, K., & Pohmann, R. (2013). Functional MRI in human subjects with gradient-echo and spin-echo EPI at 9.4 T. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, Epub ahead. doi:10.1002/mrm.24656.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B4FA-5
Abstract
PURPOSE: The increased signal-to-noise ratio and blood oxygen level dependent signal at ultra-high field can only help to boost the resolution in functional MRI studies if the spatial specificity of the activation signal is improved. At a field strength of 9.4 T, both gradient-echo and spin-echo based echo-planar imaging were implemented and applied to investigate the specificity of human functional MRI. A finger tapping paradigm was used to acquire functional MRI data with scan parameters similar to standard neuroscientific applications. METHODS: Spatial resolution, echo, and readout times were varied to determine their influence on the distribution of the blood oxygen level dependent signal. High-resolution co-localized images were used to classify the signal according to its origin in veins or tissue. RESULTS: High-quality activation maps were obtained with both sequences. Signal contributions from tissue were found to be smaller or slightly larger than from veins. Gradient-echo echo-planar imaging yielded lower ratios of micro-/macro-vascular signals of around 0.6 than spin-echo based functional MRI, where this ratio varied between 0.75 and 1.02, with higher values for larger echo and shorter readout time. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the feasibility of human functional MRI at 9.4 T with high spatial specificity. Although venous contributions could not be entirely suppressed, venous effects in spin-echo echo-planar imaging are significantly reduced compared with gradient-echo echo-planar imaging.