- In gradient echo imaging the in-plane susceptibility gradient causes an echo shift which results in signal loss. The loss of signal becomes more severe in gradient echo EPI, due to the low amplitude of the gradient which is applied in the phase-encoding direction during a long echo train. As the readout gradient amplitude is set to be very high in gradient echo EPI, the echo shift in the readout direction is negligible compared to that in the phase-encoding direction. Traditionally, a z-shimming technique has been applied to the phase-encoding direction of gradient echo EPI to restore the lost signal. This technique, however, requires a significant increase of scan time, as is also the case with the through-plane z-shimming technique. A new approach that allows one to restore the lost signal is to acquire additional phase-encoding lines beyond the regular phase-encoding range. The extension of the phase-encoding lines prior to the regular phase-encoding range exploits the delay time for optimum echo time of the BOLD sensitivity. Therefore, scan time is increased only for the extended phase-encoding lines posterior to the regular phase-encoding range. This technique has been confirmed experimentally by imaging human subject's heads at 3T.