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Abstract #0589

T2*-Weighted Echo-Planar Imaging of the Spinal Cord: Full vs. Inner Fields-of-View

J├╝rgen Finsterbusch1

1Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany

BOLD-based fMRI of the spinal cord is challenging because the high resolution required and the field inhomogeneities present promote geometric distortions in echo-planar imaging and T2*-related signal losses which both hamper the image quality and the SNR. With inner-field-of-view imaging techniques, e.g. based on spatially 2D-selective RF excitations, the acquisition can be focussed to the spinal cord which allows to minimize geometric distortions. Furthermore, shorter echo time can be achieved resulting in a significantly increased SNR that may make fMRI feasible throughout the spinal cord.

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