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B1 inhomogeneity correction of RARE MRI with transceive surface radiofrequency probes

Authors

  • P. Ramos Delgado
  • A. Kuehne
  • J.S. Periquito
  • J.M. Millward
  • A. Pohlmann
  • S. Waiczies
  • T. Niendorf

Journal

  • Magnetic Resonance in Medicine

Citation

  • Magn Reson Med

Abstract

  • PURPOSE: The use of surface radiofrequency (RF) coils is common practice to boost sensitivity in (pre)clinical MRI. The number of transceive surface RF coils is rapidly growing due to the surge in cryogenically cooled RF technology and ultrahigh‐field MRI. Consequently, there is an increasing need for effective correction of the excitation field (B(1)(+)) inhomogeneity inherent in these coils. Retrospective B(1) correction permits quantitative MRI, but this usually requires a pulse sequence‐specific analytical signal intensity (SI) equation. Such an equation is not available for fast spin‐echo (Rapid Acquisition with Relaxation Enhancement, RARE) MRI. Here we present, test, and validate retrospective B(1) correction methods for RARE. METHODS: We implemented the commonly used sensitivity correction and developed an empirical model‐based method and a hybrid combination of both. Tests and validations were performed with a cryogenically cooled RF probe and a single‐loop RF coil. Accuracy of SI quantification and T(1) contrast were evaluated after correction. RESULTS: The three described correction methods achieved dramatic improvements in B(1) homogeneity and significantly improved SI quantification and T(1) contrast, with mean SI errors reduced from >40% to >10% following correction in all cases. Upon correction, images of phantoms and mouse heads demonstrated homogeneity comparable to that of images acquired with a volume resonator. This was quantified by SI profile, SI ratio (error < 10%), and percentage of integral uniformity (PIU > 80% in vivo and ex vivo compared to PIU > 87% with the reference RF coil). CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrates the efficacy of three B(1) correction methods tailored for transceive surface RF probes and RARE MRI. The corrected images are suitable for quantification and show comparable results between the three methods, opening the way for T(1) measurements and X‐nuclei quantification using surface transceiver RF coils. This approach is applicable to other MR techniques for which no analytical SI exists.


DOI

doi:10.1002/mrm.28307