Cardiac Cine Imaging at 3 Tesla: Initial Experience With a 32-Element Body-Array Coil

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Abstract

Purpose:

We sought to assess the feasibility of cardiac cine imaging and evaluate image quality at 3 T using a body-array coil with 32 coil elements.

Materials and Methods:

Eight healthy volunteers (3 men; median age 29 years) were examined on a 3-T magnetic resonance scanner (Magnetom Trio, Siemens Medical Solutions) using a 32-element phased-array coil (prototype from In vivo Corp.). Gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) cine (GRAPPAx3), GRE cine with tagging lines, steady-state-free-precession (SSFP) cine (GRAPPAx3 and x4), and SSFP cine(TSENSEx4 and x6) images were acquired in short-axis and 4-chamber view. Reference images with identical scan parameters were acquired using the total-imaging-matrix (Tim) coil system with a total of 12 coil elements. Images were assessed by 2 observers in a consensus reading with regard to image quality, noise and presence of artifacts. Furthermore, signal-to-noise values were determined in phantom measurements.

Results:

In phantom measurements signal-to-noise values were increased by 115–155% for the various cine sequences using the 32-element coil. Scoring of image quality yielded statistically significant increased image quality with the SSFP-GRAPPAx4, SSFP-TSENSEx4, and SSFP-TSENSEx6 sequence using the 32-element coil (P < 0.05). Similarly, scoring of image noise yielded a statistically significant lower noise rating with the SSFP-GRAPPAx4, GRE-GRAPPAx3, SSFP-TSENSEx4, and SSFP-TSENSEx6 sequence using the 32-element coil (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

This study shows that cardiac cine imaging at 3 T using a 32-element body-array coil is feasible in healthy volunteers. Using a large number of coil elements with a favorable sensitivity profile supports faster image acquisition, with high diagnostic image quality even for high parallel imaging factors.

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