Smearing artifacts were observed and investigated in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies of macaque monkeys on a clinical whole-body 3T scanner.Methods
Four adult macaques were utilized to evaluate DTI artifacts. DTI images were acquired with a single-shot echo-planar imaging (EPI) sequence using a parallel imaging technique.Results
The smearing artifacts observed on the diffusion-weighted images and fractional anisotropy maps were caused by the incomplete fat suppression due to the irregular macaque frontal skull geometry and anatomy. The artifact can be reduced substantially using a novel three-dimensional (3D) shimming procedure.Conclusion
The smearing artifacts observed on diffusion weighted images and fractional anisotropy (FA) maps of macaque brains can be reduced substantially using a robust 3D shimming approach. The DTI protocol combined with the shimming procedure could be a robust approach to examine brain connectivity and white matter integrity of non-human primates using a conventional clinical setting.