High-resolution small field-of-view magnetic resonance image acquisition system using a small planar coil and a pneumatic manipulator in an open MRI scanner

Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg. 2015 Oct;10(10):1687-97. doi: 10.1007/s11548-014-1136-3. Epub 2015 Jan 1.


Background: Low-field open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is frequently used for performing image-guided neurosurgical procedures. Intraoperative magnetic resonance (MR) images are useful for tracking brain shifts and verifying residual tumors. However, it is difficult to precisely determine the boundary of the brain tumors and normal brain tissues because the MR image resolution is low, especially when using a low-field open MRI scanner. To overcome this problem, a high-resolution MR image acquisition system was developed and tested.

Methods: An MR-compatible manipulator with pneumatic actuators containing an MR signal receiver with a small radiofrequency (RF) coil was developed. The manipulator had five degrees of freedom for position and orientation control of the RF coil. An 8-mm planar RF coil with resistance and inductance of 2.04 [Formula: see text] and 1.00 [Formula: see text] was attached to the MR signal receiver at the distal end of the probe. MR images of phantom test devices were acquired using the MR signal receiver and normal head coil for signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) testing.

Results: The SNR of MR images acquired using the MR signal receiver was 8.0 times greater than that of MR images acquired using the normal head coil. The RF coil was moved by the manipulator, and local MR images of a phantom with a 2-mm grid were acquired using the MR signal receiver. A wide field-of-view MR image was generated from a montage of local MR images.

Conclusion: A small field-of-view RF system with a pneumatic manipulator was integrated in a low-field MRI scanner to allow acquisition of both wide field-of-view and high-resolution MR images. This system is promising for image-guided neurosurgery as it may allow brain tumors to be observed more clearly and removed precisely.

Keywords: High-resolution MR images; MR-compatible robotics; Planar coil; Pneumatic stepping actuator.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radio Waves
  • Robotics
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio