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Magn Reson Med. 2019 Mar 28. doi: 10.1002/mrm.27731. [Epub ahead of print]

Development and evaluation of a 16-channel receive-only RF coil to improve 7T ultra-high field body MRI with focus on the spine.

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Erwin L. Hahn Institute for MR Imaging, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.
High-Field and Hybrid MR Imaging, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.
Medical Physics in Radiology, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.
Electromagnetic Theory and Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, University of Applied Sciences Aachen, Aachen, Germany.
Faculty of Physics and Astronomy and Faculty of Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



A 16-channel receive (16Rx) radiofrequency (RF) array for 7T ultra-high field body MR imaging is presented. The coil is evaluated in conjunction with a 16-channel transmit/receive (16TxRx) coil and additionally with a 32-channel transmit/receive (32TxRx) remote body coil for RF transmit and serving as receive references.


The 16Rx array consists of 16 octagonal overlapping loops connected to custom-built detuning boards with preamplifiers. Performance metrics like noise correlation, g-factors, and signal-to-noise ratio gain were compared between 4 different RF coil configurations. In vivo body imaging was performed in volunteers using radiofrequency shimming, time interleaved acquisition of modes (TIAMO), and 2D spatially selective excitation using parallel transmit (pTx) in the spine.


Lower g-factors were obtained when using the 16Rx coil in addition to the 16TxRx array coil configuration versus the 16TxRx array alone. Distinct signal-to-noise ratio gain using the 16Rx coil could be demonstrated in the spine region both for a comparison with the 16TxRx coil (>50% gain) in vivo and the 32TxRx coil (>240% gain) in a phantom. The 16Rx coil was successfully applied to improve anatomical imaging in the abdomen and 2D spatially selective excitation in the spine of volunteers.


The novel 16-channel Rx-array as an add-on to multichannel TxRx RF coil configurations provides increased signal-to-noise ratio, lower g-factors, and thus improves 7T ultra-high field body MR imaging.


16-channel receive array; 7T body imaging; parallel transmit (pTx); radio frequency (RF); ultrahigh field


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