Inhomogeneity artifact

Last revised by Amanda Er on 5 Jan 2023

The inhomogeneity artifact is a type of magnetic resonance imaging artifact that occurs due to multiple factors, such as irregular anatomical area (for example, shoulder, hips, ankles), presence of metallic objects or inhomogeneity of the main field.

The inhomogeneity artifact appears as hyperintense or high signal in some fat-suppressed sequences that depend on the main field (i.e. SPIR or SPAIR).

The main problem with this artifact is that it can simulate edema or subcutaneous cellulitis. The use of sequences that do not depend on the homogeneity of the main magnetic field is highly recommended.

  • can be fixed by using shimming coils in exam planning (at the center of FOV acquisition)

  • checking patient and MRI gantry before starting the exam, removing metallic elements or items with magnetic susceptibility

  • using STIR sequences instead of fat-saturation techniques that may have major sensitivity to inhomogeneity

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