An eight‐channel sodium/proton coil for brain MRI at 3 T

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EarlyView Article

  • Published: Dec 27, 2017
  • Author: Karthik Lakshmanan, Ryan Brown, Guillaume Madelin, Yongxian Qian, Fernando Boada, Graham C. Wiggins
  • Journal: NMR in Biomedicine

The purpose of this work is to illustrate a new coil decoupling strategy and its application to a transmit/receive sodium/proton phased array for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human brain. We implemented an array of eight triangular coils that encircled the head. The ensemble of coils was arranged to form a modified degenerate mode birdcage whose eight shared rungs were offset from the z‐axis at interleaved angles of ±30°. This key geometric modification resulted in triangular elements whose vertices were shared between next‐nearest neighbors, which provided a convenient location for counter‐wound decoupling inductors, whilst nearest‐neighbor decoupling was addressed with shared capacitors along the rungs. This decoupling strategy alleviated the strong interaction that is characteristic of array coils at low frequency (32.6 MHz in this case) and allowed the coil to operate efficiently in transceive mode. The sodium array provided a 1.6‐fold signal‐to‐noise ratio advantage over a dual‐nuclei birdcage coil in the center of the head and up to 2.3‐fold gain in the periphery. The array enabled sodium MRI of the brain with 5‐mm isotropic resolution in approximately 13 min, thus helping to overcome low sodium MR sensitivity and improving quantification in neurological studies. An eight‐channel proton array was integrated into the sodium array to enable anatomical imaging.

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