Purpose: This work describes the construction and evaluation of a bilateral 32-channel receive array for breast imaging at 7T. Methods: The receive array consisted of 32 receive coils, placed on two 3D-printed hemispherical formers. Each side of the receive array consisted of 16 receive loops, each loop having a corresponding detachable board with match/tune capacitors, active detuning circuitry, and a balun. Coil performance was evaluated on homogeneous canola oil phantoms using a Philips Achieva 7T system. Array coil performance was compared with a bilateral forced current excitation volume coil in transmit/receive mode and with a previously reported 16-channel unilateral coil with a similar design. Results: The 32-channel array had an increase in average SNR throughout both phantoms by a factor of five as compared with the volume coil, with SNR increases up to 10 times along the periphery and three times in the center. Noise measurements showed low interelement noise correlation (average: 5.4%; maximum: 16.8%). Geometry factor maps were acquired for various acceleration factors and showed mean geometry factors <1.2, for combined acceleration factors of up to six. Conclusions: The improvements achieved demonstrate the clear potential for use in dynamic contrast-enhanced or diffusion-weighted MR studies, while maintaining diagnostically relevant spatial and temporal resolutions.
- breast imaging at 7T
- forced current excitation
- receive array
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging