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Abstract #2986

Variable Flip Angle 3D-GRASE for Increased Spatial Coverage and Improved Point Spread Function in High Resolution fMRI at 7T

Valentin G. Kemper 1 , Federico De Martino 1 , An T. Vu 2 , David A. Feinberg 3 , Essa Yacoub 2 , and Rainer Goebel 1

1 Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands, 2 Radiology, Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 3 Helen Wills Institute of Neuroscience, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Variable flip angle (VFA) refocusing schemes for Inner-Volume 3D-GRASE were designed to improve spatial coverage and point-spread along the partition direction in high-resolution functional MRI at 7T. Phase graph theory was used to calculate signal contributions from spin-echoes and stimulated echoes along the echo train. The simulations yield point-spread functions, which are in good agreement with such estimated from non-phase encoded acquisitions. In a simple visual activation experiment, almost twice the number of slices were acquired per echo train while maintaining the temporal signal to noise ratio, functional sensitivity, and point-spread properties of a reference acquisition with conventional 180 refocusing.

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