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Neuroimage. 2015 Jan 15;105:462-72. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.11.011. Epub 2014 Nov 8.

Dynamic multi-coil technique (DYNAMITE) shimming for echo-planar imaging of the human brain at 7 Tesla.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, MR Research Center (MRRC), 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:
Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, MR Research Center (MRRC), 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Gradient-echo echo-planar imaging (EPI) is the primary method of choice in functional MRI and other methods relying on fast MRI to image brain activation and connectivity. However, the high susceptibility of EPI towards B0 magnetic field inhomogeneity poses serious challenges. Conventional magnetic field shimming with low-order spherical harmonic (SH) functions is capable of compensating shallow field distortions, but performs poorly for global brain shimming or on specific areas with strong susceptibility-induced B0 distortions such as the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Excellent B0 homogeneity has been demonstrated recently in the human brain at 7 Tesla with the DYNAmic Multi-coIl TEchnique (DYNAMITE) for magnetic field shimming (J Magn Reson (2011) 212:280-288). Here, we report the benefits of DYNAMITE shimming for multi-slice EPI and T2* mapping. A standard deviation of 13Hz was achieved for the residual B0 distribution in the human brain at 7 Tesla with DYNAMITE shimming and was 60% lower compared to conventional shimming that employs static zero through third order SH shapes. The residual field inhomogeneity with SH shimming led to an average 8mm shift at acquisition parameters commonly used for fMRI and was reduced to 1.5-3mm with DYNAMITE shimming. T2* values obtained from the prefrontal and temporal cortices with DYNAMITE shimming were 10-50% longer than those measured with SH shimming. The reduction of the confounding macroscopic B0 field gradients with DYNAMITE shimming thereby promises improved access to the relevant microscopic T2* effects. The combination of high spatial resolution and DYNAMITE shimming allows largely artifact-free EPI and T2* mapping throughout the brain, including prefrontal and temporal lobe areas. DYNAMITE shimming is expected to critically benefit a wide range of MRI applications that rely on excellent B0 magnetic field conditions including EPI-based fMRI to study various cognitive processes and assessing large-scale brain connectivity in vivo. As such, DYNAMITE shimming has the potential to replace conventional SH shim systems in human MR scanners.


Dynamic shimming; EPI artifacts; Echo planar imaging (EPI); Multi-coil; Shimming; Spherical harmonics

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