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Abstract #5445

Human Connectome Project (HCP)-style resting state functional MRI at 7 Tesla using RF parallel transmission

Xiaoping Wu1, Edward J. Auerbach1, Steen Moeller1, Pierre-Francois Van de Moortele1, Essa Yacoub1, and Kamil Ugurbil1

1Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States

A major component of the Human Connectome Project (HCP) in the WU-Minn consortium is slice-accelerated whole-brain resting-state functional MRI (rfMRI) at both 3T and 7T. Although providing better contrast and higher spatial resolution, the 7T acquisition is compromised by RF nonuniformity. Here, we demonstrate how RF parallel transmission (pTx) can be used to improve RF uniformity for highly-accelerated, HCP-style rfMRI at 7T with simultaneous multislice multiband approach. Our results demonstrate that the combination of pTx with the 8-channel transmit/32-channel receive coil (Nova8Tx/32Rx) enhanced functional contrast-to-noise ratio (fCNR) in most cortical surfaces and subcortical voxels relative to the original HCP protocol utilizing the Nova1Tx/32Rx in combination with dielectric padding. The enhanced fCNR in turn yielded higher correlation values in seed-based connectivity measures. These results demonstrate that pTx provides significant gains in whole-brain rfMRI employed for defining the functional connectome of the human brain.

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