Subject-loaded quadrifilar helical-antenna RF coil with high B1+ field uniformity and large FOV for 3-T MRI

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Abstract

A novel method for excitation of RF B1 field in high-field (3-T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems using a subject-loaded quadrifilar helical antenna as an RF coil is proposed, evaluated, and demonstrated. Design, analysis, characterization, and evaluation of the novel coil when situated in a 3-T MRI bore and loaded with different phantoms are performed and cross-validated by extensive numerical simulations using multiple computational electromagnetics techniques. The results for the quadrifilar helical-antenna RF body coil show (a) strong field penetration in the entire phantoms; (b) excellent right-hand circular polarization (RCP); (c) high spatial uniformity of RCP RF magnetic field, B1+, throughout the phantoms; (d) large field of view (FOV); (e) good transmit efficiency; and (f) low local specific absorption rate (SAR). The examples show that the new RF coil provides substantially better B1+-field uniformity and much larger FOV than any of the previously reported numerical and experimental results for the existing RF coil designs at 3 T in literature that enable comparison. In addition, helical RF body coils of different lengths can, for instance, easily provide an excellent RCP and highly uniform B1+-field within the MRI maximum FOV length of 50 cm, and even 100 cm. The proposed MRI RF coil yields a remarkable improvement in the field uniformity in the longitudinal direction, for various phantoms, with comparable efficiency and SAR levels.

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