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Neuroimage. 2005 Apr 1;25(2):625-41.

Sensitivity-encoded (SENSE) echo planar fMRI at 3T in the medial temporal lobe.

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  • 1Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Gloriastrasse 35, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


Parallel imaging techniques are useful for fMRI studies in light of the increasing susceptibility effects at high magnetic field strength. Yet, spatially varying noise amplification constitutes a challenge for the application of these techniques. The medial temporal lobe is particularly vulnerable to susceptibility effect with increasingly strong signal reduction. We present two fMRI studies comparing SENSE single-shot (ssh) echo planar imaging (EPI) at acceleration factors of 2.0, 2.4, 2.7, and 3.0 with conventional sshEPI at TE of 22 and 35 ms. Data were acquired during a learning task which activates the medial temporal lobe bilaterally. Susceptibility related image distortion was markedly reduced with increasing SENSE acceleration. Moreover, in the group results, statistical power increased in the whole brain with SENSE compared to conventional imaging and with a TE of 35 ms compared to 22 ms. Higher SENSE acceleration factors further improved image quality and increased statistical power in the occipital lobe and fusiform gyrus, but not in the medial temporal lobe. We therefore conclude that an sshEPI acquisition protocol with a moderate SENSE acceleration factor of R = 2.0 and TE 35 ms is suitable for the detection of medial temporal activation at 3T.

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