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Feasibility study of a double resonant (1 H/ 23Na) abdominal RF setup at 3T

M. Malzacher, J. Chacon-Caldera, N. Paschke and L. Schad

Z Med Phys, 29 (4), pp.359-367

Sodium magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the human abdomen is of increasing clinical interest for e.g. kidney, intervertebral disks, prostate and tumor monitoring examinations in the abdomen. To overcome the low MR sensitivity of sodium, optimal radio frequency (RF) structures should be used. A common approach is to combine a volumetric transmit coil for homogeneous excitation with an array of sensitive receive coils adapted to the human shape. Additionally, proton imaging is required to match the physiological sodium images to the morphological proton images. In this work, we demonstrated the feasibility of a double resonant proton/sodium RF setup for abdominal MRI at 3T, providing a high sodium sensitivity. After extensive simulations, a 16-channel sodium receive array was built and used in combination with a volumetric sodium transmit coil. Additionally, a local proton coil was included in the setup for anatomical localizations. The setup was investigated using electromagnetic field simulations, phantom measurements and final in-vivo measurements of a healthy volunteer. A 3 to 6-fold sensitivity improvement of the sodium receive array compared to the volumetric sodium coil was achieved using the phantom simulations and measurements. Safety assessments of the local proton transmit/receive coil were performed using specific absorption rate simulations. Finally, the feasibility of such a setup was proven by in-vivo measurements.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 30.11.2020
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