Susceptibility-induced magnetic field gradients (SFGs) can result in severe signal loss in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in gradient-echo-based functional MRI (fMRI) studies. Although conventional z-shim techniques can effectively recover the MRI signal in this region, the substantial penalty in imaging time hampers their use in routine fMRI studies. A modified z-shim technique with high imaging efficiency is presented in this study. In this technique, z-shim compensations are applied only to a selective volume where the susceptibility artifact is severe. The results of an fMRI study (N=6) demonstrate the feasibility of detecting the OFC activation with z-shim in whole-brain fMRI studies at a temporal resolution of 2 s.
Copyright (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.