Purpose: To combine parallel imaging with 3D single-shot acquisition (echo volumar imaging, EVI) in order to acquire high temporal resolution volumar functional MRI (fMRI) data.
Materials and methods: An improved EVI sequence was associated with parallel acquisition and field of view reduction in order to acquire a large brain volume in 200 msec. Temporal stability and functional sensitivity were increased through optimization of all imaging parameters and Tikhonov regularization of parallel reconstruction. Two human volunteers were scanned with parallel EVI in a 1.5T whole-body MR system, while submitted to a slow event-related auditory paradigm.
Results: Thanks to parallel acquisition, the EVI volumes display a low level of geometric distortions and signal losses. After removal of low-frequency drifts and physiological artifacts, activations were detected in the temporal lobes of both volunteers and voxelwise hemodynamic response functions (HRF) could be computed. On these HRF different habituation behaviors in response to sentence repetition could be identified.
Conclusion: This work demonstrates the feasibility of high temporal resolution 3D fMRI with parallel EVI. Combined with advanced estimation tools, this acquisition method should prove useful to measure neural activity timing differences or study the nonlinearities and nonstationarities of the BOLD response.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.