Eric Raymond Muir1,2, Sung-Hong Park3, Timothy Q. Duong2
1Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States; 2Research Imaging Institute, Ophthalmology/Radiology, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States; 3Research Imaging Institute, Radiology, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States
BOLD fMRI of the thin retina with the widely used EPI acquisition is challenging because the eye is a region of large magnetic inhomogeneity and high-resolution EPI is pushing the limits of gradient performance, resulting in susceptibility-induced signal drop out and image distortion. To overcome these limitations, we implemented a pass-band balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) sequence for fMRI of the mouse retina at 45x45x500 m. bSSFP has comparable temporal resolution and SNR per unit time as EPI, without the artifacts common in EPI. bSSFP fMRI could reliably detect layer-specific responses to hypoxic challenge in the mouse retina.