Pushing functional MRI spatial and temporal resolution further: High-density receive arrays combined with shot-selective 2D CAIPIRINHA for 3D echo-planar imaging at 7 T

Arjan D Hendriks, Federico D'Agata, Luisa Raimondo, Tim Schakel, Liesbeth Geerts, Peter R Luijten, Dennis W J Klomp, Natalia Petridou

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Abstract

To be able to examine dynamic and detailed brain functions, the spatial and temporal resolution of 7 T MRI needs to improve. In this study, it was investigated whether submillimeter multishot 3D EPI fMRI scans, acquired with high-density receive arrays, can benefit from a 2D CAIPIRINHA sampling pattern, in terms of noise amplification (g-factor), temporal SNR and fMRI sensitivity. High-density receive arrays were combined with a shot-selective 2D CAIPIRINHA implementation for multishot 3D EPI sequences at 7 T. In this implementation, in contrast to conventional inclusion of extra kz gradient blips, specific EPI shots are left out to create a CAIPIRINHA shift and reduction of scan time. First, the implementation of the CAIPIRINHA sequence was evaluated with a standard receive setup by acquiring submillimeter whole brain T2 *-weighted anatomy images. Second, the CAIPIRINHA sequence was combined with high-density receive arrays to push the temporal resolution of submillimeter 3D EPI fMRI scans of the visual cortex. Results show that the shot-selective 2D CAIPIRINHA sequence enables a reduction in scan time for 0.5 mm isotropic 3D EPI T2 *-weighted anatomy scans by a factor of 4 compared with earlier reports. The use of the 2D CAIPIRINHA implementation in combination with high-density receive arrays, enhances the image quality of submillimeter 3D EPI scans of the visual cortex at high acceleration as compared to conventional SENSE. Both the g-factor and temporal SNR improved, resulting in a method that is more sensitive to the fMRI signal. Using this method, it is possible to acquire submillimeter single volume 3D EPI scans of the visual cortex in a subsecond timeframe. Overall, high-density receive arrays in combination with shot-selective 2D CAIPIRINHA for 3D EPI scans prove to be valuable for reducing the scan time of submillimeter MRI acquisitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e4281
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Volume33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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