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Med Phys. 2016 Apr;43(4):1897. doi: 10.1118/1.4944500.

An 8-channel RF coil array for carotid artery MR imaging in humans at 3 T.

Author information

1
Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China and Shenzhen Key Laboratory for MRI, Shenzhen 518055, China.
2
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158 and UCSF/UC Berkeley Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, San Francisco, California 94720.
3
Suzhou Zhongzhi Medical Technology Co., Ltd., Suzhou 215123, China.
4
Lauterbur Research Center for Biomedical Imaging, Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China; Shenzhen Key Laboratory for MRI, Shenzhen 518055, China; and School of Information Science and Technology, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Carotid artery diseases due to plaque buildup at the carotid bifurcation are a leading cause of stroke. Accurate plaque quantification and characterization of plaque composition and morphology by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential to identifying high-risk patients. Difficulties in detecting plaque, which is physically small, and the unique physiological structure of the carotid artery make use of a radio frequency (RF) coil array with high resolution, large longitudinal coverage, and deep penetration ideal for clinical examinations. The goal of this project was to design and fabricate a sensitive RF coil array with sufficient imaging coverage and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for carotid artery imaging at 3 T.

METHODS:

Based on clinical requirements and the anatomical structure of the human carotid artery, an 8-channel carotid coil array was designed and fabricated for 3 T MRI of the carotid artery in humans. The performance of the proposed 8-channel carotid coil array was validated through bench tests and MR imaging experiments on a 3 T whole body MRI scanner. Its performance was also compared experimentally to the performance of a commercial 4-channel phased array carotid coil designed by Machnet BV (Machnet BV coil, Roden, Netherlands).

RESULTS:

The 8-channel carotid coil array performed significantly better in imaging the carotid artery than the commercial 4-channel Machnet BV coil in terms of the SNR, coverage, and penetration depth. In parallel imaging, the proposed 8-channel carotid coil array demonstrated a much lower maximum value and average value of the geometry factor in the region of interest. Carotid artery images acquired in vivo using the proposed 8-channel carotid artery coil and the commercial 4-channel Machnet BV coil were also compared, demonstrating the former's potential for clinical diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Based on the analyses of phantom and in vivo imaging studies, the proposed 8-channel carotid coil array has the potential for use in clinical diagnosis, performing better in terms of SNR, imaging coverage, and penetration depth than the commercial 4-channel carotid artery coil array at 3 T. In future studies, the proposed 8-channel carotid coil array can also serve as an important part of a large-scale multichannel coil array for imaging the whole carotid artery system, including the extracranial and intracranial arteries.

PMID:
27036585
DOI:
10.1118/1.4944500
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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