An equal-TE ultrafast 3D gradient-echo imaging method with high tolerance to magnetic susceptibility artifacts: Application to BOLD functional MRI
Jae-Kyun Ryu, Won Beom Jung, Jaeyong Yu, Jeong Pyo Son, Seung-Kyun Lee, Seong-Gi Kim, Jang-Yeon Park*
To develop an ultrafast 3D gradient echo–based MRI method with constant TE and high tolerance to B0 inhomogeneity, dubbed ERASE (equal‐TE rapid acquisition with sequential excitation), and to introduce its use in BOLD functional MRI (fMRI).
Theory and Methods
Essential features of ERASE, including spin behavior, were characterized, and a comparison study was conducted with conventional EPI. To demonstrate high tolerance to B0 inhomogeneity, in vivo imaging of the mouse brain with a fiber‐optic implant was performed at 9.4 T, and human brain imaging (including the orbitofrontal cortex) was performed at 3 T and 7 T. To evaluate the performance of ERASE in BOLD‐fMRI, the characteristics of SNR and temporal SNR were analyzed for in vivo rat brains at 9.4 T in comparison with multislice gradient‐echo EPI. Percent signal changes and t‐scores are also presented.
For both mouse brain and human brain imaging, ERASE exhibited a high tolerance to magnetic susceptibility artifacts, showing much lower distortion and signal dropout, especially in the regions involving large magnetic susceptibility effects. For BOLD‐fMRI, ERASE provided higher temporal SNR and t‐scores than EPI, but exhibited similar percent signal changes inin vivo rat brains at 9.4 T.
When compared with conventional EPI, ERASE is much less sensitive, not only to EPI‐related artifacts such as Nyquist ghosting, but also to B0 inhomogeneity including magnetic susceptibility effects. It is promising for use in BOLD‐fMRI, providing higher temporal SNR and t‐scores with constant TE when compared with EPI, although further optimization is needed for human fMRI.