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Abstract #1461

Spinal cord fMRI heatmaps reveal a structured cardiac artifact “traveling” along the length of the cord

Kimberly J. Hemmerling1,2, Mark A. Hoggarth2, Todd Parrish3, and Molly G. Bright1,2
1Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States, 2Physical Therapy & Human Movement Sciences, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States, 3Department of Radiology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, United States


Denoising of spinal cord fMRI data is important to address physiological noise confounds. Heatmaps used to visualize structured variance in spinal cord fMRI data reveal a unique artifact of aliased cardiac signals from pulsatile flow adjacent to the cord, which appears to travel along the longitudinal cord axis. Cardiac-related RETROICOR noise maps indicate that this artifact is successfully modeled and removed. The artifact velocity along the length of the spinal cord was calculated and is moderately correlated to the heart rate. This artifact may also provide insight into CSF flow in the spinal canal.

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