An 8-channel transceiver 7-channel receive RF coil setup for high SNR ultrahigh-field MRI of the shoulder at 7T

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Abstract

Purpose:

In this work, we present an 8-channel transceiver (Tx/Rx) 7-channel receive (Rx) radiofrequency (RF) coil setup for 7 T ultrahigh-field MR imaging of the shoulder.

Methods:

A C-shaped 8-channel Tx/Rx coil was combined with an anatomically close-fitting 7-channel Rx-only coil. The safety and performance parameters of this coil setup were evaluated on the bench and in phantom experiments. The 7 T MR imaging performance of the shoulder RF coil setup was evaluated in in vivo measurements using a 3D DESS, a 2D PD-weighted TSE sequence, and safety supervision based on virtual observation points.

Results:

Distinct SNR gain and acceleration capabilities provided by the additional 7-channel Rx-only coil were demonstrated in phantom and in vivo measurements. The power efficiency indicated good performance of each channel and a maximum B1+ of 19 μT if the hardware RF power limits of the MR system were exploited. MR imaging of the shoulder was demonstrated with clinically excellent image quality and submillimeter spatial resolution.

Conclusions:

The presented 8-channel transceiver 7-channel receive RF coil setup was successfully applied for in vivo 7 T MRI of the shoulder providing a clear SNR gain vs the transceiver array without the additional receive array. Homogeneous images across the shoulder region were obtained using 8-channel subject-specific phase-only RF shimming.

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