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Magn Reson Med. 2010 Feb;63(2):456-64. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22265.

Design and evaluation of a 32-channel phased-array coil for lung imaging with hyperpolarized 3-helium.

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  • 1Section of Medical Physics, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center Mainz, Mainz, Germany.


Imaging with hyperpolarized 3-helium is becoming an increasingly important technique for MRI diagnostics of the lung but is hampered by long breath holds (>20 sec), which are not always applicable in patients with severe lung disease like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or alpha-1-anti-trypsin deficiency. Additionally, oxygen-induced depolarization decay during the long breath holds complicates interpretation of functional data such as apparent diffusion coefficients. To address these issues, we describe and validate a 1.5-T, 32-channel array coil for accelerated (3)He lung imaging and demonstrate its ability to speed up imaging (3)He. A signal-to-noise ratio increase of up to a factor of 17 was observed compared to a conventional double-resonant birdcage for unaccelerated imaging, potentially allowing increased image resolution or decreased gas production requirements. Accelerated imaging of the whole lung with one-dimensional and two-dimensional acceleration factors of 4 and 4 x 2, respectively, was achieved while still retaining excellent image quality. Finally, the potential of highly parallel detection in lung imaging is demonstrated with high-resolution morphologic and functional images.

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