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Neuroimage. 2005 Feb 15;24(4):1164-9. Epub 2005 Jan 5.

The effect of small rotations on R2* measured with echo planar imaging.

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Medical Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Building 490, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


Several modern MRI techniques, such as functional MRI (fMRI), rely on the detection of microscopic changes in magnetic susceptibility. However, differences in magnetic susceptibility between brain tissue, bone, and air also produce local magnetic field gradients that may interfere with the contrast of interest, particularly at high field strengths. Since the magnetic field distribution depends on the orientation of the human head in the MRI scanner, head rotations can change the effective transverse relaxation rate (R(2)*) and confound fMRI studies. The size of the R(2)* changes produced by small head rotations was estimated from a brain-shaped gel-phantom at 4 T, by measuring the signal decay at 96 different echo times. Similar measurements were carried out in a human study. Rotations larger than 2 degrees changed R(2)* more than 1.5 Hz in the phantom, and indicate that even small rotations may compromise fMRI results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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