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J Magn Reson. 2011 Oct;212(2):280-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2011.07.005. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Dynamic multi-coil shimming of the human brain at 7 T.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, MR Research Center (MRRC), New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


High quality magnetic field homogenization of the human brain (i.e. shimming) for MR imaging and spectroscopy is a demanding task. The susceptibility differences between air and tissue are a longstanding problem as they induce complex field distortions in the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobes. To date, the theoretical gains of high field MR have only been realized partially in the human brain due to limited magnetic field homogeneity. A novel shimming technique for the human brain is presented that is based on the combination of non-orthogonal basis fields from 48 individual, circular coils. Custom-built amplifier electronics enabled the dynamic application of the multi-coil shim fields in a slice-specific fashion. Dynamic multi-coil (DMC) shimming is shown to eliminate most of the magnetic field inhomogeneity apparent in the human brain at 7 T and provided improved performance compared to state-of-the-art dynamic shim updating with zero through third order spherical harmonic functions. The novel technique paves the way for high field MR applications of the human brain for which excellent magnetic field homogeneity is a prerequisite.

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