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Abstract #3528

Enabling axial diffusion tensor imaging of the human cervical spinal cord at 7T

Aurélien Massire1,2, Pierre Besson1,2, Maxime Guye1,2, Jean-Philippe Ranjeva1,2, and Virginie Callot1,2

1Centre de Résonance Magnétique Biologique et Médicale (CRMBM), UMR 7339, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France, 2Centre d'Exploration Métabolique par Résonance Magnétique (CEMEREM), Hôpital de la Timone, Pôle d’imagerie médicale, AP-HM, Marseille, France

MRI at 7T has recently demonstrated its ability to provide high-quality anatomical images of the spinal cord (SC), yet no diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study was reported so far. Single-shot echo-planar imaging (ss-EPI) is the method of choice for DTI but the sequence is seriously limited by strong susceptibility artifacts. This work demonstrates that a thoughtful implementation of ss-EPI at 7T combined with distortion correction post-processing from two acquisitions with opposed phase-encoding directions can generate high-resolution axial DTI images of the cervical SC with added value compared to lower field standard protocols making SC DTI ready for UHF clinical investigations.

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