Development and evaluation of a multichannel endorectal RF coil for prostate MRI at 7T in combination with an external surface array

PURPOSE - To develop and evaluate a sterilizable multichannel endorectal coil (ERC) for use in combination with an external surface array (ESA) for high-resolution anatomical and functional studies of the prostate at 7T.

MATERIALS AND METHODS - A two-loop ERC (ERC-2L) and a microstrip-loop ERC (ERC-ML) were compared at 7T in terms of transmit and receive performance. The best-performing ERC was evaluated alone and in combination with the ESA through 1) simulations on both phantom and an anatomically correct numerical human model to assess B1+ transmit and specific absorption rate (SAR) efficiencies, and 2) phantom experiments to calculate B1+ transmit efficiency and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Phantom studies were also performed to look at heating when using the ERC as a transmitter and for comparing the new coil against a single-channel balloon-type ERC (ERC-b). High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) acquisitions were performed on a single healthy subject using the two-channel ERC combined with the ESA.

RESULTS - Compared to the ERC-ML, the ERC-2L demonstrated 20% higher SAR efficiency and higher SNR 3 cm from the coil. The presence of a tuned and detuned ERC-2L did not alter the peak local SAR of the ESA alone; however, the detuned ERC-2L had 45% less peak local SAR around the rectum compared to the tuned ERC-2L. The receive-only version of the ERC-2L improved the SNR 4. 7-fold and 1. 3-fold compared to the ESA and ERC-b, respectively. In combination with the ESA, the ERC-2L supported in-plane voxel-size of 0. 36 × 0. 36 mm(2) in T2 -weighted anatomic imaging.

CONCLUSIONS - The reusable ERC-2L combined with an ESA offers a high SNR imaging platform for translational studies of the prostate at 7T. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2015.

Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI. 2015 Nov 19 [Epub ahead of print]

M Arcan Ertürk, Jinfeng Tian, Pierre-François Van de Moortele, Gregor Adriany, Gregory J Metzger

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. , Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. , Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. , Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. , Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

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