Vascular space occupancy (VASO) is a magnetic resonance imaging technique sensitive to cerebral blood volume, and is a potential alternative to the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) sensitive technique as a basis for functional mapping of the neurovascular response to a task. Many implementations of VASO have made use of echo-planar imaging strategies that allow rapid acquisition, but risk introducing potentially confounding BOLD effects. Recently, multi-slice and 3D VASO techniques have been implemented to increase the imaging volume beyond the single slice of early reports. These techniques usually rely, however, on advanced scanner software or hardware not yet available in many centers. In the present study, we have implemented a short-echo time, multi-shot 3D Turbo Spin-Echo (TSE) VASO sequence that provided 8-slice coverage on a routine clinical scanner. The proposed VASO sequence was tested in assessing the response of the human motor cortex during a block design finger tapping task in 10 healthy subjects. Significant VASO responses, inversely correlated with the task, were found at both individual and group level. The location and extent of VASO responses were in close correspondence to those observed using a conventional BOLD acquisition in the same subjects. Although the spatial coverage and temporal resolution achieved were limited, robust and consistent VASO responses were observed. The use of a susceptibility insensitive volumetric TSE VASO sequence may have advantages in locations where conventional BOLD and echo-planar based VASO imaging is compromised.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Biomedical Engineering