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32‐Channel self‐grounded bow‐tie transceiver array for cardiac MR at 7.0T

Eigentler, Thomas Wilhelm; Kuehne, Andre; Boehmert, Laura; Dietrich, Sebastian; Els, Antje; Waiczies, Helmar; Niendorf, Thoralf

FG Medizintechnik

Purpose Design, implementation, evaluation, and application of a 32‐channel Self‐Grounded Bow‐Tie (SGBT) transceiver array for cardiac MR (CMR) at 7.0T. Methods The array consists of 32 compact SGBT building blocks. Transmission field (B1+) shimming and radiofrequency safety assessment were performed with numerical simulations and benchmarked against phantom experiments. In vivo B1+ efficiency mapping was conducted with actual flip angle imaging. The array’s applicability for accelerated high spatial resolution 2D FLASH CINE imaging of the heart was examined in a volunteer study (n = 7). Results B1+ shimming provided a uniform field distribution suitable for female and male subjects. Phantom studies demonstrated an excellent agreement between simulated and measured B1+ efficiency maps (7% mean difference). The SGBT array afforded a spatial resolution of (0.8 × 0.8 × 2.5) mm3 for 2D CINE FLASH which is by a factor of 12 superior to standardized cardiovascular MR (CMR) protocols. The density of the SGBT array supports 1D acceleration of up to R = 4 (mean signal‐to‐noise ratio (whole heart) ≥ 16.7, mean contrast‐to‐noise ratio ≥ 13.5) without impairing image quality significantly. Conclusion The compact SGBT building block facilitates a modular high‐density array that supports accelerated and high spatial resolution CMR at 7.0T. The array provides a technological basis for future clinical assessment of parallel transmission techniques.