Protocol to determine the optimal intraoral passive shim for minimisation of susceptibility artifact in human inferior frontal cortex.
Wilson JL., Jenkinson M., Jezzard P.
At higher static magnetic field (B(0)) strengths (>/=3 T), the study of human inferior frontal cortex (IFC) when utilising a variety of MRI techniques is severely hampered by the presence of susceptibility artifacts. This is particularly the case for blood oxygenation level-dependent functional MRI, where large signal voids are generally encountered in the frontal lobes. A previous study described an approach to artifact correction involving a mouth insert consisting of a prototype diamagnetic passive shim [Magn. Reson. Med. 48 (2002), 906]. Here we extend that method by investigating the effect of five different intraoral passive shims on B(0) homogeneity and echoplanar imaging susceptibility artifacts within the brain, and particularly the IFC, of six subjects. The optimal passive shim is shown to be subject- and study-specific, providing an average reduction in mean absolute B(0) offset within the IFC of 57%, along with a concomitant reduction in echoplanar susceptibility artifact. All subjects were at ease while wearing the intraoral shims. A 4-min in vivo protocol to determine the optimal passive shim from the available set, utilising intrinsic structural and B(0) subject data, is described and shown to be accurate and reliable.