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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Oct;66(4):1198-208. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22906. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

32-channel RF coil optimized for brain and cervical spinal cord at 3 T.

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  • 1AA Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


Diffusion and functional magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord remain challenging due to the small cross-sectional size of the cord and susceptibility-related distortions. Although partially addressable through parallel imaging, few highly parallel array coils have been implemented for the cervical cord. Here, we developed a 32-channel coil that fully covers the brain and c-spine and characterized its performance in comparison with a commercially available head/neck/spine array. Image and temporal signal-to-noise ratio were, respectively, increased by 2× and 1.8× in the cervical cord. Averaged g-factors at 4× acceleration were lowered by 22% in the brain and by 39% in the spinal cord, enabling 1-mm isotropic R = 4 multi-echo magnetization prepared gradient echo of the full brain and c-spine in 3:20 min. Diffusion imaging of the cord at 0.6 × 0.6 × 5 mm(3) resolution and tractography of the full brain and c-spine at 1.7-mm isotropic resolution were feasible without noticeable distortion. Improvements of this nature potentially enhance numerous basic and clinical research studies focused on spinal and supraspinal regions.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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