Fast gradient echo sequences, such as echo planer imaging (EPI) and spiral imaging, are vulnerable to artifacts resulting from B0 inhomogeneities. A major contribution to these artifacts is the susceptibility variation across the head, which is most severe in regions adjacent to air-tissue interfaces, such as the mouth, nasal sinuses, ears and the cortex. Susceptibility artifacts can cause geometrical distortions in the image as well as loss of signal due to T2* dephasing. The extent of these artifacts increases with the main field, thus compromising the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) benefit gained in higher fields. In the current work, inhomogeneity caused by susceptibility variations at the external boundary of the human body has been corrected by surrounding the organs with a liquid without hydrogen atoms and whose susceptibility is similar to that of the imaged organ. EPI experiments were conducted on head-sized phantom, human brain, hand and legs. This method causes minimal patient inconvenience and no interference with any function of the scanner, thus yielding a simple and efficient solution for the correction of B0 variation.
- EPI artifacts
- Field homogeneity
- Passive shimming
- Susceptibility-matched envelope