1High-Field MR Center, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tbingen, Germany; 2Dept. of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, University of Tbingen, Tbingen, Germany
It has been hypothesized that T2-weighted BOLD fMRI at ultra-high field shows higher spatial specificity than T2*-weighted BOLD, since the main signal contribution is expected to come from the extravascular spins of the microvasculature. Unfortunately, the number of slices that can be acquired in multi-slice SE-EPI is limited at ultra-high field due to SAR constraints. T2-weighted steady-state sequences, such as S2-SSFP, have been previously used as an alternative to spin-echo based BOLD fMRI. In this work, we present a 3D S2-SSFP sequence that is accelerated using an EPI readout and show first results from finger tapping experiments at 9.4 T.