Functional Connectivity Analysis: Performance Comparison of Gradient and Spin Echo EPI Simultaneously Acquired
Brice Fernandez 1 , Victor Spoormaker 2 , Philipp Smann 2 , and Michael Czisch 2
Applications & Workflow, GE Healthcare,
Unit, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich,
Resting state functional connectivity is an attractive
tool to study affective and mood disorders.
Gradient-echo EPI (GRE-EPI) is affected by strong signal
drops in brain regions critical for emotional
processing. Spin-echo EPI (SE-EPI) is known to not
suffer from this problem. Here, we use a Hybrid EPI
pulse sequence to simultaneously acquire both the
GRE-EPI and the SE-EPI. The comparison of both
acquisition methods shows that meaningful signal
fluctuations can be recovered in susceptibility affected
brain regions using SE-EPI, while minor differences in
functional connectivity were observed for unaffected
brain areas. Furthermore, GRE-EPI is more prone to
global signal artefacts.
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