A blood pool contrast aided T1 functional MRI in patients with brain tumors—a preliminary study
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INTRODUCTION: The aim of our study was to determine the possibility of using a new functional technique: a T1-dependent sequence with administration of blood pool contrast agent (BPCA), in patients with brain tumors before and after surgical treatment. We also aimed to compare our results with those obtained using the fMRI technique, based on Blood Oxygenation Level-Dependent (BOLD) contrast. METHODS: For each of our 14 oncologic patients (four before and ten after neurosurgical intervention), we obtained: a T1-3D GRE sequence (TR = 2.6 ms/TE = 1.1 ms/FA = 10°) after intravenous administration of BPCA (0.03 mmol/kg), as well as a T2*EPI sequence (TR = 3 s/TE = 50 ms/FA = 90°). Movement and/or tactile block type paradigms were carried out during both functional runs. SPM5 software was used for analysis. RESULTS: For both functional techniques, maximum activations were localized in the same areas. There were no significant differences observed in the t values calculated for activations located in the primary motor cortex between groups of pre- and post-intervention patients (in the same functional technique). The mean values for T2* EPI examinations were 10.84 and 9.36, respectively. The mean t values for the T1 technique were lower, especially for the post-intervention patients (5.83 and 3.9, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The T1 technique can be used to detect functional areas in patients with brain tumors, pre-, and post-surgical intervention. This technique enables the evaluation of cortical centers that suffer from susceptibility artifacts when using the T2* BOLD technique. Activations found using both techniques have the same localization, with lower values for the T1 technique.
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