Purpose: To demonstrate a 1 H/31 P whole human brain volume coil configuration for 3 Tesla with separate 31 P transmit and receive components that maintains 1 H MRS performance and delivers optimal 31 P MRSI with 1 H decoupling.
Methods: We developed an 8-channel 31 P receive array coil covering the head to be used as an insert for a commercial double-tuned 1 H/31 P birdcage transmit-receive coil. This retains the possibility of using low-power rectangular pulses for 1 H-decoupled 3D 31 P MRSI (nominal resolution 17.6 cm3 ; acquisition duration 13 min) but increases the SNR with the receive sensitivity of 31 P surface coils. The performance of the combined coil setup was evaluated by measuring 1 H and 31 P SNR with and without the 31 P receive array and by assessing the effect of the receive array on the transmit efficiencies of the birdcage coil.
Results: Compared to the birdcage coil alone, the 31 P insert in combination with the birdcage achieved an average 31 P SNR gain of 1.4 ± 0.4 in a center partition of the brain. The insert did not cause losses in 1 H MRS performance and transmit efficiency, whereas for 31 P approximately 20% more power was needed to achieve the same γB1.
Conclusion: The new coil configuration allows 1 H MRSI and optimal 1 H-decoupled 3D 31 P MRSI, with increased SNR of the human brain without patient repositioning, for clinical and research purposes at 3 Tesla.
Keywords: 1H-decoupling; 3 Tesla; 31P MR spectroscopic imaging; RF array coil; brain.
© 2019 The Authors. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.