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First in vivo Potassium-39 (39K) MRI at 9.4 T using conventional copper radio frequency surface coil cooled to 77 K

I. Elabyad, R. Kalayciyan, N. Shanbhag and L. Schad

IEEE T Biomed Eng, 61 (2), pp.334-345

Potassium-39 (39K) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive technique which could potentially allow for detecting intracellular physiological variations in common human pathologies such as stroke and cancer. However, the low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) achieved in39K-MR images hampered data acquisition with sufficiently high spatial and temporal resolution in animal models so far. Full wave electromagnetic (EM) simulations were performed for a single-loop copper (Cu) radio frequency (RF) surface resonator with a diameter of 30 mm optimized for rat brain imaging at room temperature (RT) and at liquid nitrogen (LN2) with a temperature of 77 K. A novel cryogenic Cu RF surface resonator with home-built LN2 nonmagnetic G10 fiberglass cryostat system for small animal scanner at 9.4 T was designed, built and tested in phantom and in in vivo MR measurements. Aerogel was used for thermal insulation in the developed LN2 cryostat. In this paper, we present the first in vivo 39K-MR images at 9.4 T for both healthy and stroke-induced rats using the developed cryogenic coil at 77 K. In good agreement with EM-simulations and bench-top measurements, the developed cryogenic coil improved the SNR by factor of 2.7 ± 0.2 in both phantom and in in vivo MR imaging compared with the same coil at RT.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 14.01.2019
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