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Eur Radiol. 2005 Aug;15(8):1555-62. Epub 2005 Apr 23.

Comparison of volume, four- and eight-channel head coils using standard and parallel imaging.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.


Array coils can potentially offer increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) over standard coils adjacent to the array elements, while preserving the SNR at the center of the volume. The SNR advantage should theoretically increase with the number of array elements. Parallel acquisition techniques (PAT), on the other hand, can benefit acquisition times or spatial resolution at a cost to SNR as well as image quality. This study examines the question of whether SNR and image quality are still acceptable with two different array coils (four and eight channels) in conjunction with PAT when compared to standard imaging with a volume coil. All imaging was on a 1.5 T MR scanner. T2-weighted, FLAIR, diffusion-weighted, and time of flight (TOF) angiography images were performed with and without PAT in a phantom and in ten healthy volunteers. The phantom measurements demonstrated superior SNR for the eight-channel coil versus the four-channel and standard head coils. Using the eight-channel head coil for in vivo imaging, image quality with PAT (acceleration factor=2) was scored similar to images without PAT using the volume coil. The four-channel head coil suffered from inhomogeneity, lower SNR and poorer image quality when using PAT compared to standard imaging with the volume head coil. Both the in vivo and the phantom results indicate that the eight-channel head coil should be used for the highest quality brain images; this coil can be combined with PAT sequences for shorter acquisition time without a significant decrease in image quality relative to a volume coil without PAT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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