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Keywords:

  • MRI receiver coil arrays;
  • parallel MRI;
  • body MRI;
  • multichannel MRI;
  • 128 channels

Abstract

Purpose

To determine whether the promise of high-density many-coil MRI receiver arrays for enabling highly accelerated parallel imaging can be realized in practice.

Materials and Methods

A 128-channel body receiver-coil array and custom MRI system were developed. The array comprises two clamshells containing 64 coils each, with the posterior array built to maximize signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the anterior array design incorporating considerations of weight and flexibility as well. Phantom imaging and human body imaging were performed using a variety of reduction factors and 2D and 3D pulse sequences.

Results

The ratio of SNR relative to a 32-element array of similar footprint was 1.03 in the center of an elliptical loading phantom and 1.7 on average in the outer regions. Maximum g-factors dropped from 5.5 (for 32 channels) to 2.0 (for 128 channels) for 4 × 4 acceleration and from 25 to 3.3 for 5 × 5 acceleration. Residual aliasing artifacts for a right/left (R/L) reduction factor of 8 in human body imaging were significantly reduced relative to the 32-channel array.

Conclusion

MRI with a large number of receiver channels enables significantly higher acceleration factors for parallel imaging and improved SNR, provided losses from the coils and electronics are kept negligible. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2008;28:1219–1225. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.