The choice of imaging parameters for functional MRI can have an impact on the accuracy of functional localization by affecting the image quality and the degree of blood oxygenation-dependent (BOLD) contrast achieved. By improving sampling efficiency, parallel acquisition techniques such as sensitivity encoding (SENSE) have been used to shorten readout trains in single-shot (SS) echo planar imaging (EPI). This has been applied to susceptibility artifact reduction and improving spatial resolution. SENSE together with single-shot spin-echo (SS-SE) imaging may also reduce off-resonance artifacts. The goal of this work was to investigate the BOLD response of a SENSE-adapted SE-EPI on a three Tesla scanner. Whole-brain fMRI studies of seven healthy right hand-dominant volunteers were carried out in a three Tesla scanner. fMRI was performed using an SS-SE EPI sequence with SENSE. The data was processed using statistical parametric mapping. Both, group and individual subject data analyses were performed. Individual average percentage and maximal percentage signal changes attributed to the BOLD effect in M1 were calculated for all the subjects as a function of echo time. Corresponding activation maps and the sizes of the activated clusters were also calculated. Our results show that susceptibility artifacts were reduced with the use of SENSE; and the acquired BOLD images were free of the typical quadrature artifacts of SS-EPI. Such measures are crucial at high field strengths. SS SE-EPI with SENSE offers further benefits in this regard and is more specific for oxygenation changes in the microvasculature bed. Functional brain activity can be investigated with the help of single-shot spin echo EPI using SENSE at high magnetic fields.
- Parallel imaging
- Spin-echo echo planar imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging