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Abstract #1117

Towards intravascular BOLD signal characterization in balanced SSFP experiments of human blood at high to ultra-high fields

Marlon Pérez-Rodas1,2, Hildegard Schulz1, Rolf Pohmann1, Klaus Scheffler1,3, and Rahel Heule1
1High-Field MR Center, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2Graduate Training Centre of Neuroscience, IMPRS for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany, 3Department of Biomedical Magnetic Resonance, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

To fully understand the neurovascular fingerprint observed in BOLD experiments, extravascular and intravascular contributions have to be identified separately. Balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) imaging has demonstrated the ability for distortion-free fMRI with high microvascular sensitivity. However, the underlying intravascular contribution to BOLD bSSFP is not yet entirely known as literature R2 relaxation rates do not reflect the apparent diffusion-related R2 decrease in blood with shorter bSSFP refocusing intervals (TRs). This work thus focuses on characterizing the oxygen sensitivity of bSSFP in blood samples at high to ultra-high fields by means of passband signal differences and intrinsic R2 estimation.

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