OBJECT: Most functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments use gradient-echo echo planar imaging (GE EPI) to detect the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) effect. This technique may fail in the presence of anatomy-related susceptibility-induced field gradients in the human head. In this work, we present a novel 3D compensation method in combination with a template-based correction that can be optimized over particular regions of interest to recover susceptibility-induced signal loss without acquisition time penalty. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Based on an evaluation of B(0) field maps of eight subjects, slice-dependent gradient compensation moments are derived for maximal BOLD sensitivity in two compromised regions: the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala areas. A modified EPI sequence uses these additional gradient moments in all three imaging directions. The method is compared to non-compensated, template-based and subject-specific correction gradients and also in a breath-holding experiment. RESULTS: The slice-dependent gradient compensation method significantly improves signal intensity/BOLD sensitivity by about 35/43% in the orbitofrontal cortex and by 17/30% in the amygdala areas compared to a conventional acquisition. Template-based correction and subject-specific correction perform equally well. The BOLD sensitivity in the breath hold experiment is effectively increased in compensated regions. CONCLUSION: The new method addresses the problem of susceptibility-induced signal loss, without compromising temporal resolution. It can be used for event-related functional experiments without requiring additional subject-specific calibration or calculation time.
Conference Contributions (1)
J. Rick, M. A. Golombeck, and O. Dössel. Numerical calculations of switched magnetic field gradients during Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In Biomedizinische Technik, vol. 47-1, pp. 739-742, 2002
J. Rick. Reduktion von suszeptibilitätsbedingten Signalauslöschungen in der funktionellen MRT. Institut für Biomedizinische Technik (IBT). Dissertation. 2010