Design of a sixteen channel anterior cardiac receive coil for parallel imaging at 3T

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Smith, Michael
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The main objective was to construct a 16-channel anterior cardiac array for 3T MRI capable of ⅓ mm pixel resolution across the right coronary artery, while achieving favourable parallel imaging characteristics. Based on FDTD simulations, improved performance relative to previous 16-channel designs was predicted by focusing small elements directly above the ROI, improving SNR behaviour, and using larger peripheral loops for maintaining overall parallel imaging characteristics, verifying the primary project hypothesis. Within the cardiac region, average simulated SNR gains of 62% and 129% were found for acceleration factors R=1 and R=4 respectively, compared to an industry design. Experimental analysis verified that ⅓ mm resolution is achievable within the right coronary artery, while also applying the benefits of parallel imaging up to R=3. This is a crucial step towards improving cardiac diagnostics. In addition, acceleration factors up to R=5 are achievable on a human torso, offering significant imaging time reductions. For an anterior section of the cardiac region, simulated results predicted an average SNR gain of 221%, where 460% gain was found experimentally.