Imaging the human brainstem at 7 Tesla using multi-modal echo-planar imaging
Florian Beissner 1 , Jonathan R. Polimeni 1 , Marta Bianciardi 1 , Ville Renvall 1,2 , Cornelius Eichner 1,3 , Vitaly Napadow 1 , and Lawrence L. Wald 1,4
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical
Imaging, Charlestown, MA, United States,
and Mind Laboratory, Aalto University, Finland,
Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences,
Division of Health Sciences and Technology,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA,
The human brainstem is a notoriously difficult structure
to study with MRI. Here, we present an entirely EPI-based
approach that allows for the acquisition of T2*-weighted
functional, T1-weighted structural as well as
diffusion-weighted images at a resolution of 1.2 mm
isotropic. Due to matched voxel size and distortion,
BOLD and DTI images can be normalized to MNI space
applying transformation parameters estimated from the
T1-weighted EPI image, minimizing coregistration errors.
Using masked independent component analysis we were able
to detect brainstem nuclei at the single-subject level
and to depict their functional connectivity to the rest
of the brain.
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