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Abstract #5440

Gain of temporal signal-to-noise ratio with pTx universal pulses and the whole-brain fMRI 3D-GE EPI sequence at 7T

Vincent Gras1, Alexandre Vignaud1, C├ęcile Rabrait-Lerman1, Denis Le Bihan1, Tony Stoecker2, Ruediger Stirnberg2, and Nicolas Boulant1

1NeuroSpin, CEA, Saclay, France, 2DZNE, Bonn, Germany

The volumetric 3D-EPI sequence has already shown great promise for fMRI studies due to potentially increased temporal SNR (tSNR) and lower energy demands compared to 2D multi-slice acquisition schemes. For whole-brain studies the tSNR yet can suffer from sub-optimal flip angles due to RF inhomogeneity. Parallel transmission (pTx) has been shown to be a very powerful technology to mitigate these effects but has been barely used in routine due to a cumbersome calibration procedure. Here, we use Universal Pulses to skip entirely the latter step and increase locally the tSNR at 7T in the 3D-EPI GE sequence.

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