The impact of dual-source parallel radiofrequency transmission with patient-adaptive shimming on the cardiac magnetic resonance in children at 3.0 T
The cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) of children at 3.0 T presents a unique set of technical challenges because of their small cardiac anatomical structures, fast heart rates, and the limited ability to keep motionless and hold breathe, which could cause problems associated with field inhomogeneity and degrade the image quality. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of dual-source parallel radiofrequency (RF) transmission on the B1 homogeneity and image quality in children with CMR at 3.0 T. The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee and written informed consent was obtained. A total of 30 free-breathing children and 30 breath-hold children performed CMR examinations with dual-source and single-source RF transmission. The B1 homogeneity, contrast ratio (CR) of cine images, and off-resonance artifacts in cine images between dual-source and single-source RF transmission were assessed in free-breathing and breath-hold groups, respectively. In both free-breathing and breath-hold groups, higher mean percentage of flip angle (free-breathing group: 104.2 ± 4.6 vs 95.5 ± 6.3, P < .001; breath-hold group: 101.5 ± 5.1 vs 92.5 ± 6.3, P < .001) and lower coefficient of variation (free-breathing group: 0.06 ± 0.02 vs 0.09 ± 0.03, P < .001; breath-hold group: 0.07 ± 0.03 vs 0.10 ± 0.04, P = .005) were found with dual-source than with single-source RF transmission. Both the CRs in the horizontal long axis (HLA) and short axis of cine images with dual-source RF transmission was improved (P < .05 for all). The scores of off-resonance artifacts in the HLA with dual-source RF transmission were higher in both free-breathing and breath-hold groups (P < .05 for all), with substantial interreader agreement (kappa values from 0.68 to 0.74). Compared with conventional single-source, dual-source parallel RF transmission could significantly improve the B1 homogeneity and image quality for CMR in children at 3.0 T. This technology could be taken into account in CMR for children with cardiac diseases.