Bryan H. DeLaGarza1, Eric R. Muir1, William E. Rogers1, Timothy Q. Duong1
1Research Imaging Institute, Ophthalmology/Radiology, Univ of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States
This study reports a novel application of BOLD fMRI of visual stimulation in the rat retina at 11.7 Tesla. Visual stimuli employed diffuse achromatic light flickering at 8 Hz. Higher magnetic field was used to improve signal-to-noise ratio, spatial resolution (110x110x1000 microns) and BOLD contrast sensitivity. This approach can be used to evaluate functional changes in the rat retinas where many retinal disease models are readily available. BOLD fMRI of the retina provides unique clinically relevant data and has the potential to complement existing retinal imaging techniques.