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Abstract #1528

Optimization of combined spin- and gradient-echo EPI in fMRI via in- and through-plane acceleration

Elizabeth G. Keeling1,2, Maurizio Bergamino1, Sudarshan Ragunathan1, C. Chad Quarles1, and Ashley M. Stokes1
1Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, United States, 2Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States


BOLD-fMRI is widely used to study brain activity but suffers from signal dropout near air-tissue interfaces and lack of sensitivity to microvasculature. A combined spin- and gradient-echo (SAGE) acquisition, previously implemented for perfusion MRI, may be able to reduce signal dropout and provide sensitivity to microvasculature for fMRI applications. SAGE-fMRI presents its own challenges, namely lack of full brain coverage and poor temporal and spatial resolution. These challenges can be overcome by combining in-plane and through-plane acceleration factors. This study aims to optimize the SAGE-fMRI protocol, balancing acceleration of acquisition with image quality.

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