Iris Yuwen Zhou1,2, Matthew M. Cheung1,2, Kevin C. Chan1,2, Condon Lau1,2, Ed X. Wu1,2
1Laboratory of Biomedical & Signal Processing, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of; 2Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China, People's Republic of
The major challenges in EPI-fMRI are the image distortions and constraint in spatial resolution, thus limiting accurate and high resolution mapping of brain functions especially in small animals at high fields. To overcome these limitations and also to achieve high CNR and robust signal changes, we investigated the feasibility of fMRI using bSSFP together with intravascular susceptibility contrast agent MION in rodent brains. We also compared with the conventional SE-EPI and GE-EPI based fMRI. The results demonstrated that bSSFP in combination with intravascular contrast agent provides a robust CBV based fMRI approach. Such brain functional mapping is distortion free and can be of high resolution, and it is particularly suited for high field fMRI study of animal models.