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Abstract #3457

Effect of spatial smoothing and cardiac gating on physiological noise in spinal cord fMRI

J Cohen-Adad 1,2 , C Triantafyllou 2 , and L L Wald 2,3

1 Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2 A.A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, MA, United States, 3 Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, MIT, MA, United States

We evaluated two strategies to increase the temporal SNR in spinal cord fMRI time series: 1) Averaging high resolution data through plane compared to directly acquiring data with thick slices and 2) Acquiring data with cardiac gating. Results suggest that averaging high-resolution data does not significantly increase the tSNR, however the thin-slice acquisition reduces intravoxel dephasing, therefore preventing signal loss at the level of intervertebral disks. Cardiac gating showed marginal increase in tSNR, however the method is hampered by a longer acquisition time and the difficulty of correcting additional variance caused by T1 effects.

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