The aim of this study was to assess a novel 60-channel receiver body coil (B60) setup for accelerated contrast-enhanced abdominal magnetic resonance imaging (MR) imaging with respect to signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and image quality using high parallel-imaging technique (PAT) factors in comparison to a standard 30-channel coil setup.
All imaging data were acquired on a 3 T MR scanner using a novel B60 receiver coil setup in comparison to a standard 30-channel setup serving as reference standard. Phantom measurements were performed to systematically evaluate SNR and geometry factor performance in an ex vivo setting. To assess the in vivo application, additional measurements in 5 healthy volunteers and 17 patients were performed using a 3-dimensional T1w gradient-echo sequences with different acceleration factors. At first, the volunteers were examined. In a second step, standard contrast-enhanced abdominal images were acquired in the 17 patients, who were randomly assigned into 2 groups (group A: 60-channel, n = 8; group B: 30-channel, n = 9). Image quality, noise, lesion conspicuity, and artifacts were assessed by 2 radiologists independently on a 5-point Likert scale (5 = excellent).
The phantom study revealed substantial advantages (SNR and geometry factor) of the B60 coil for measurements in the head-to-feet phase encoding direction, whereas only minor differences were found in other directions. Comparison of image quality in volunteers revealed significantly higher ratings of the B60 setup for all acquisitions (P ≤ 0.032), except for PAT = none. In patients, similar results were observed with comparable image quality at lower PAT factors and significantly superior image quality of the B60 setup for higher PAT factors (2 × 2 and 3 × 2; P = 0.008).
The 60-channel coil setup facilitates improved SNR and image quality at high PAT factors with diagnostic image quality, which allows for accelerated contrast-enhanced MR imaging of the abdomen.
From the *Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, University Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen; and
†Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Erlangen, Germany.
Received for publication February 15, 2018; and accepted for publication, after revision, March 27, 2018.
Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: K.N. received research grant by Siemens Healthcare and is on the speaker's bureau of Siemens Healthcare. S.W. and W.H. are employees of Siemens Healthcare, who provided technical background support. For the remaining authors, none were declared.
Correspondence to: Ahmed E. Othman, MD, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Straße 3, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.