MAGMA. 2024 Jan 10. doi: 10.1007/s10334-023-01138-3. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the possible influence of third-order shim coils on the behavior of the gradient field and in gradient-magnet interactions at 7 T and above.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gradient impulse response function measurements were performed at 5 sites spanning field strengths from 7 to 11.7 T, all of them sharing the same exact whole-body gradient coil design. Mechanical fixation and boundary conditions of the gradient coil were altered in several ways at one site to study the impact of mechanical coupling with the magnet on the field perturbations. Vibrations, power deposition in the He bath, and field dynamics were characterized at 11.7 T with the third-order shim coils connected and disconnected inside the Faraday cage.
RESULTS: For the same whole-body gradient coil design, all measurements differed greatly based on the third-order shim coil configuration (connected or not). Vibrations and gradient transfer function peaks could be affected by a factor of 2 or more, depending on the resonances. Disconnecting the third-order shim coils at 11.7 T also suppressed almost completely power deposition peaks at some frequencies.
DISCUSSION: Third-order shim coil configurations can have major impact in gradient-magnet interactions with consequences on potential hardware damage, magnet heating, and image quality going beyond EPI acquisitions.