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Phys Med Biol. 2011 Aug 7;56(15):4649-59. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/15/002. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Analysis of the local worst-case SAR exposure caused by an MRI multi-transmit body coil in anatomical models of the human body.

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  • 1Foundation for Research on Information Technologies in Society (IT'IS), Zeughausstr. 43, 8004 Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Multi-transmit coils are increasingly being employed in high-field magnetic resonance imaging, along with a growing interest in multi-transmit body coils. However, they can lead to an increase in whole-body and local specific absorption rate (SAR) compared to conventional body coils excited in circular polarization for the same total incident input power. In this study, the maximum increase of SAR for three significantly different human anatomies is investigated for a large 3 T (128 MHz) multi-transmit body coil using numerical simulations and a (generalized) eigenvalue-based approach. The results demonstrate that the increase of SAR strongly depends on the anatomy. For the three models and normalization to the sum of the rung currents squared, the whole-body averaged SAR increases by up to a factor of 1.6 compared to conventional excitation and the peak spatial SAR (averaged over any 10 cm(3) of tissue) by up to 13.4. For some locations the local averaged SAR goes up as much as 800 times (130 when looking only at regions where it is above 1% of the peak spatial SAR). The ratio of the peak spatial SAR to the whole-body SAR increases by a factor of up to 47 and can reach values above 800. Due to the potentially much larger power deposition, additional, preferably patient-specific, considerations are necessary to avoid injuries by such systems.

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