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Abstract #5455

Regional-specific echo-time optimization in spin-echo EPI at 3 Tesla

Josephine Tan1, Don M Ragot1, and J. Jean Chen1,2

1Rotman Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada, 2Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Spin-echo (SE) echo-planar imaging (EPI) is less prone to signal dropouts in brain regions of high susceptibility. Such regions are important for the study of memory and language, and have been traditionally difficult to image using the conventional gradient-echo BOLD fMRI. To maximize the contrast-to-noise of SE EPI, echo-time (TE) optimization is critical, and currently, the optimal TE is assumed to be equal to tissue T2. In this work, we use a comprehensive BOLD signal and noise model to characterize the TE dependence of SE-EPI at 3 T. We show that the optimal TE is significantly shorter than the commonly assumed tissue T2.

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