Head motion within an applied magnetic field alters the effective shim within the brain, causing geometric distortions in echo planar imaging (EPI). Even if subtle, change in shim can lead to artifactual signal changes in timecourse EPI acquisitions, which are typically performed for functional MRI (fMRI) or diffusion tensor imaging. Magnetic field maps acquired before and after head motions of clinically realistic magnitude indicate that motion-induced changes in magnetic field may cause translations exceeding 3 mm in the phase-encoding direction of the EPI images. The field maps also demonstrate a trend toward linear variations in shim changes as a function of position within the head, suggesting that a real-time, first-order correction may compensate for motion-induced changes in magnetic field. This article presents a navigator pulse sequence and processing method, termed a "shim NAV," for real-time detection of linear shim changes, and a shim-compensated EPI pulse sequence for dynamic correction of linear shim changes. In vivo and phantom experiments demonstrate the detection accuracy of shim NAVs in the presence of applied gradient shims. Phantom experiments demonstrate reduction of geometric distortion and image artifact using shim-compensated EPI in the presence of applied gradient shims. In vivo experiments with intentional interimage subject motion demonstrate improved alignment of timecourse EPI images when using the shim NAV-detected values to update the shim-compensated EPI acquisition in real time.
- EPI artifact
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Motion correction
- Navigator echoes
- Real-time MRI
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging