Serge Vasylechko1, Christina Malamateniou2, Rita Nunes2, 3, Matthew J. Fox2, Joanna M. Allsop2, Mary A. Rutherford2, Daniel Rueckert1, Joseph V. Hajnal2
1Biomedical Image Analysis Group, Department of Computing, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; 2Division of Imaging Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, King's College, London, United Kingdom; 3Institute of Biophysics and Biomedical Engineering, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
T2* relaxometry has been performed on the fetal brain for the first time. Due to high motion associated with the fetus, an approach was implemented using single shot multi-echo field echo EPI to obtain spatially aligned whole head images at multiple echo times. A non-linear fitting method was used to determine T2*. The method was tested on 5 fetuses. Region of interest measurements were obtained yielding T2* values consistent with published data from premature infants of similar age. This paves the way for studies of T2* during brain development and suggests use of longer echo times for fetal fMRI studies.