A 16-Channel <sup>13</sup>C Array Coil for Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of the Breast at 7T

Matthew Wilcox, Stephen Ogier, Sergey Cheshkov, Ivan Dimitrov, Craig Malloy, Steven M. Wright, Mary P. Mcdougall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


<i>Objective:</i> Considering the reported elevation of -6/-3 fatty acid ratios in breast neoplasms, one particularly important application of <sup>13</sup>C MRS could be in more fully understanding the breast lipidome's relationship to breast cancer incidence. However, the low natural abundance and gyromagnetic ratio of the <sup>13</sup>C isotope lead to detection sensitivity challenges. Previous <sup>13</sup>C MRS studies have relied on the use of small surface coils with limited field-of-view and shallow penetration depths to achieve adequate signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and the use of receive array coils is still mostly unexplored. <i>Methods:</i> This work presents a unilateral breast 16-channel <sup>13</sup>C array coil and interfacing hardware designed to retain the surface sensitivity of a single small loop coil while improving penetration depth and extending the field-of-view over the entire breast at 7T. The coil was characterized through bench measurements and phantom <sup>13</sup>C spectroscopy experiments. <i>Results:</i> Bench measurements showed receive coil matching better than -17 dB and average preamplifier decoupling of 16.2 dB with no evident peak splitting. Phantom MRS studies show better than a three-fold increase in average SNR over the entirety of the breast region compared to volume coil reception alone as well as an ability for individual array elements to be used for coarse metabolite localization without the use of single-voxel or spectroscopic imaging methods. <i>Conclusion:</i> Our current study has shown the benefits of the array. Future <i>in vivo</i> lipidomics studies can be pursued. <i>Significance:</i> Development of the 16-channel breast array coil opens possibilities of <i>in vivo</i> lipidomics studies to elucidate the link between breast cancer incidence and lipid metabolics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • 7T
  • array coils
  • Biomedical measurement
  • breast cancer
  • Capacitors
  • carbon-13
  • Frequency measurement
  • Low-pass filters
  • MRS
  • multinuclear
  • Preamplifiers
  • Radio frequency
  • RF coils
  • Sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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