Double-row dipole/loop combined array for human whole brain imaging at 7 T

Nikolai I. Avdievich, Anton V. Nikulin, Loreen Ruhm, Arthur W. Magill, Anke Henning, Klaus Scheffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Important issues in designing radiofrequency (RF) coils for human head imaging at ultra-high field (UHF; ≥7 T) are the inhomogeneity and longitudinal coverage (along the magnet axis) of the transmit (Tx) RF field. Both the homogeneity and coverage produced by Tx volume coils can be improved by means of three-dimensional (3D) RF shimming, which requires the use of multirow Tx-arrays. In addition, according to recent findings of the ultimate intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio (UISNR) theory, the loop-only receive (Rx) arrays do not provide optimal SNR near the brain center at UHF. The latter can be obtained by combining complementary conductive structures carrying different current patterns (e.g., loops and dipole antennas). In this work, we developed, constructed, and evaluated a novel 32-element hybrid array design for human head imaging at 7 T. The array consists of 16 transceiver loops placed in two rows circumscribing the head and 16 folded-end Rx-only dipoles positioned in the centers of loops. By placing all elements in a single layer, we increased RF power deposition into the tissue and, thus, preserved the Tx-efficiency. Using this hybrid design also simplifies the coil structure by minimizing the total number of array elements. The array demonstrated whole brain coverage, 3D RF shimming capability, and high SNR. It provided ~15% higher SNR near the brain center and, depending on the RF shim mode, from 20% to 40% higher Tx-efficiency than a common commercial head array coil.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNMR in biomedicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • central SNR improvement, folded-end dipole, human head imaging, hybrid array design, ultra-high field MRI, whole brain coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy

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