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Abstract #2051

Evaluation of 2D multiband EPI imaging for high resolution, whole brain fMRI studies at 3T: sensitivity and slice leakage artifacts

Nick Todd 1 , Steen Moeller 2 , Edward J. Auerbach 2 , Essa Yacoub 2 , Guillaume Flandin 1 , and Nikolaus Weiskopf 1

1 Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 2 Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, United States

This study evaluates a 2D multiband EPI sequence for 1.5mm high resolution, whole brain fMRI applications at 3T in terms of BOLD sensitivity and possible false activation due to signal leakage between the simultaneously excited slices. Ten healthy volunteers were imaged performing a visual/motor task under a 4 x 2 within-subject factorial design that considered multiband factors 1, 2, 4, and 6 (all with factor 2 in-plane GRAPPA), and reconstruction methods Slice-GRAPPA and Split Slice-GRAPPA. Results show clear gains in BOLD sensitivity for multiband factors 2, 4, and 6, manifested as a greater number of total voxels activated and higher maximum t-score values. However, signal from highly activated clusters was leaking into adjacent simultaneously excited slices and causing false positive activation at known alias locations. The effect was strongest for multiband factors 4 and 6 reconstructed with Slice-GRAPPA, but was greatly reduced using the Split Slice-GRAPPA approach.

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