To design and evaluate a modular transceiver coil array with 32 independent channels for cardiac MRI at 7.0T.Methods:
The modular coil array comprises eight independent building blocks, each containing four transceiver loop elements. Numerical simulations were used for B1+ field homogenization and radiofrequency (RF) safety validation. RF characteristics were examined in a phantom study. The array's suitability for accelerated high spatial resolution two-dimensional (2D) FLASH CINE imaging of the heart was examined in a volunteer study.Results:
Transmission field adjustments and RF characteristics were found to be suitable for the volunteer study. The signal-to-noise intrinsic to 7.0T together with the coil performance afforded a spatial resolution of 1.1 × 1.1 × 2.5 mm3 for 2D CINE FLASH MRI, which is by a factor of 6 superior to standardized CINE protocols used in clinical practice at 1.5T. The 32-channel transceiver array supports one-dimensional acceleration factors of up to R = 4 without impairing image quality significantly.Conclusion:
The modular 32-channel transceiver cardiac array supports accelerated and high spatial resolution cardiac MRI. The array is compatible with multichannel transmission and provides a technological basis for future clinical assessment of parallel transmission techniques at 7.0T. Magn Reson Med 72:276–290, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.