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Abstract #2278

Development of BOLD-Sensitive Protocols for Imaging the Human Spinal Cord at 7 Tesla

Robert L. Barry1, 2, John C. Gore, 23, Seth A. Smith1, 2

1Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, Nashville, TN, United States; 2Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, United States; 3Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, United States

Functional imaging of the human spinal cord (spinal fMRI) has been demonstrated by a handful of groups worldwide, and can detect changes in spinal function due to injury and multiple sclerosis. However, to date there have been no reports of human spinal fMRI at any field strength above 3 Tesla. The proposed multi-shot pulse sequence and post-processing methods are designed to obviate or mitigate challenges of ultra-high-field fMRI that include tissue heating (specific absorption rate), T2* blurring, and geometric distortions. To the best of our knowledge, this abstract is the first published demonstration of human spinal fMRI at 7 Tesla.