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Abstract #0941

Ultra-fast gradient echo EPI with controlled aliasing at 3T:  simultaneous multi-slice vs. 3D-EPI

Rüdiger Stirnberg1, Willem Huijbers1, Benedikt A. Poser2, and Tony Stöcker1,3

1German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, Germany, 2Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 3Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany

We conducted a feasibility study to compare state-of-the-art simultaneous multi-slice EPI vs. segmented 3D-EPI – both utilizing equivalent undersampling techniques for controlled aliasing – optimized for ultra-fast whole-brain fMRI at 3T. We compared temporal signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity per unit scan time and temporal whole-brain spectra of 8 minutes time-series. While both fast sequences are well-suited to separate physiological from BOLD signal, the 3D-EPI sequence achieves greater sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio throughout the brain using whole-brain protocols matched for identical TR.

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