Author(s): Olman CA, Davachi L, Inati S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The medial temporal lobe (MTL) contains subregions that are subject to severe distortion and signal loss in functional MRI. Air/tissue and bone/tissue interfaces in the vicinity of the MTL distort the local magnetic field due to differences in magnetic susceptibility. Fast image acquisition and thin slices can reduce the amount of distortion and signal loss, but at the cost of image signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this paper, we quantify the severity of distortion and signal loss in MTL subregions for three different echo planar imaging (EPI) acquisitions at 3 Tesla: a conventional moderate-resolution EPI (3x3x3 mm), a conventional high-resolution EPI (1.5x1.5x2 mm), and a zoomed high-resolution EPI. We also demonstrate the advantage of reversing the phase encode direction to control the direction of distortion and to maximize efficacy of distortion compensation during data post-processing. With the high-resolution zoomed acquisition, distortion is not significant and signal loss is present only in the most anterior regions of the parahippocampal gyrus. Furthermore, we find that the severity of signal loss is variable across subjects, with some subjects showing negligible loss and others showing more dramatic loss. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Although both distortion and signal loss are minimized in a zoomed field of view acquisition with thin slices, this improvement in accuracy comes at the cost of reduced SNR. We quantify this trade-off between distortion and SNR in order to provide a decision tree for design of high-resolution experiments investigating the function of subregions in MTL.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy