High-field head radiofrequency volume coils using transverse electromagnetic (TEM) and phased array technologies



This article describes technological advances in quadrature transverse electromagnetic (TEM) volume coils and phased arrays reported recently from our laboratory developed for MRI and MRS imaging of the human brain. The first part of this work presents a new method for tuning TEM volume coils based on measurements of the radiofrequency current distribution in the coil elements. This technique facilitates bench adjustment of the coils' homogeneity and is particularly important for tuning double-tuned TEM volume coils. We have also used this method to optimize other TEM configurations such as a quadrature TEM half-volume coil and a split TEM coil. TEM half-volume coils provide greater sensitivity over localized regions than conventional full-volume coils, and the split TEM coil provides greater patient access and ease of use. The second part of this work describes the development of single-tuned and double-tuned transmit TEM volume coils in combination with phased arrays. A variety of different techniques for active detuning of single-tuned and double-tuned TEM volume coils are presented along with the development of phased arrays and transmission line preamplifier decoupling. The final section describes the use of counter rotating current (CRC) surface coils in phased arrays. Because of the intrinsic isolation of CRC coils from transmit volume coils, CRC arrays can be used simultaneously with volume coils for both reception and transmission. Near the center of the human head where both the phased array and the volume coil produce similar sensitivities, simultaneous reception enhances the signal-to-noise ratio. Conversely, simultaneous transmission can be used to boost the transmit field in peripheral brain regions from the volume coil to provide a more homogeneous transmit field. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.