Purpose: To demonstrate the use of forced current excitation (FCE) to create homogeneous excitation of the breast at 7 tesla, insensitive to the effects of asymmetries in the electrical environment.
Materials and methods: FCE was implemented on two breast coils: one for quadrature (1) H imaging and one for proton-decoupled (13) C spectroscopy. Both were a Helmholtz-saddle combination, with the saddle tuned to 298 MHz for imaging and 75 MHz for spectroscopy. Bench measurements were acquired to demonstrate the ability to force equal currents on elements in the presence of asymmetric loading to improve homogeneity. Modeling and temperature measurements were conducted per safety protocol. B1 mapping, imaging, and proton-decoupled (13) C spectroscopy were demonstrated in vivo.
Results: Using FCE to ensure balanced currents on elements enabled straightforward tuning and maintaining of isolation between quadrature elements of the coil. Modeling and bench measurements confirmed homogeneity of the field, which resulted in images with excellent fat suppression and in broadband proton-decoupled carbon-13 spectra.
Conclusion: FCE is a straightforward approach to ensure equal currents on multiple coil elements and a homogeneous excitation field, insensitive to the effects of asymmetries in the electrical environment. This enabled effective breast imaging and proton-decoupled carbon-13 spectroscopy at 7T.
Keywords: 7T; breast MRI; transmit coil.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.