Utilization of an intra-oral diamagnetic passive shim in functional MRI of the inferior frontal cortex.
Wilson JL., Jezzard P.
Due to the presence of gross magnetic susceptibility artifacts, functional MRI (fMRI) has proved problematic in studies of the human inferior frontal cortex (IFC). There is a strong desire, therefore, to employ techniques that mitigate susceptibility artifacts in the IFC while preserving the imaging parameters of an fMRI study. It has been shown that the use of a single, strongly diamagnetic, intra-oral passive shim significantly improves the homogeneity of the static magnetic field (B(0)) and, as a result, alleviates the susceptibility artifacts within the IFC. In this study, practical issues regarding the use of an intra-oral passive shim are examined. We investigated B(0) instabilities within the IFC resulting from subject head motion in order to calculate the effects of an intra-oral passive shim on the temporal variance of an EPI time series. These studies show that the addition of an intra-oral passive shim improves both B(0) homogeneity and signal stability, and increases sensitivity to functional activation.