Simultaneous Multi-Slice fMRI using spiral trajectories

Benjamin Zahneisen*, Benedikt A. Poser, Thomas Ernst, Andrew V. Stenger

*Corresponding author for this work

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Parallel imaging methods using multi-coil receiver arrays have been shown to be effective for increasing MRI acquisition speed. However parallel imaging methods for fMRI with 2D sequences show only limited improvements in temporal resolution because of the long echo times needed for BOLD contrast. Recently, Simultaneous Multi-Slice (SMS) imaging techniques have been shown to increase fMRI temporal resolution by factors of four and higher. In SMS fMRI multiple slices can be acquired simultaneously using Echo Planar Imaging (EPI) and the overlapping slices are un-aliased using a parallel imaging reconstruction with multiple receivers. The slice separation can be further improved using the "blipped-CAIPI" EPI sequence that provides a more efficient sampling of the SMS 3D k-space. In this paper a blipped-spiral SMS sequence for ultra-fast fMRI is presented. The blipped-spiral sequence combines the sampling efficiency of spiral trajectories with the SMS encoding concept used in blipped-CAIPI EPI. We show that blipped spiral acquisition can achieve almost whole brain coverage at 3 mm isotropic resolution in 168 ms. It is also demonstrated that the high temporal resolution allows for dynamic BOLD lag time measurement using visual/motor and retinotopic mapping paradigms. The local BOLD lag time within the visual cortex following the retinotopic mapping stimulation of expanding flickering rings is directly measured and easily translated into an eccentricity map of the cortex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-18
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2014

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