Snapshot gradient-recalled echo-planar images of rat brains at long echo time at 9.4 T
With improved B 0 homogeneity along with satisfactory gradient performance at high magnetic fields, snapshot gradient-recalled echo-planar imaging (GRE-EPI) would perform at long echo times (TEs) on the order of T2*, which intrinsically allows obtaining strongly T2*-weighted images with embedded substantial anatomical details in ultrashort time. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and quality of long TE snapshot GRE-EPI images of rat brain at 9.4 T. When compensating for B 0 inhomogeneities, especially second-order shim terms, a 200 x 200 microm2 in-plane resolution image was reproducibly obtained at long TE (>25 ms). The resulting coronal images at 30 ms had diminished geometric distortions and, thus, embedded substantial anatomical details. Concurrently with the very consistent stability, such GRE-EPI images should permit to resolve functional data not only with high specificity but also with substantial anatomical details, therefore allowing coregistration of the acquired functional data on the same image data set.