[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Functional and morphologic assessment of the right ventricle (RV) is of clinical importance. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) at 1.5T has become gold standard for RV chamber quantification and assessment of even small wall motion abnormalities, but tissue analysis is still hampered by limited spatial resolution. CMR at 7T promises increased resolution, but is technically challenging. We examined the feasibility of cine imaging at 7T to assess the RV. METHODS: Nine healthy volunteers underwent CMR at 7T using a 16-element TX/RX coil and acoustic cardiac gating. 1.5T served as gold standard. At 1.5T, steady-state free-precession (SSFP) cine imaging with voxel size (1.2x1.2x6) mm3 was used; at 7T, fast gradient echo (FGRE) with voxel size (1.2x1.2x6) mm3 and (1.3x1.3x4) mm3 were applied. RV dimensions (RVEDV, RVESV), RV mass and RV function (RVEF) were quantified in transverse slices. Overall image quality, image contrast and image homogeneity were assessed in transverse and sagittal views. RESULTS: All scans provided diagnostic image quality. Overall image quality and image contrast of transverse RV views were rated equally for SSFP at 1.5T and FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.3x1.3x4)mm3. FGRE at 7T provided significantly lower image homogeneity compared to SSFP at 1.5T. RVEDV, RVESV, RVEF and RVM did not differ significantly and agreed close between SSFP at 1.5T and FGRE at 7T (p=0.5850; p=0.5462; p=0.2789; p=0.0743). FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.3x1.3x4) mm3 tended to overestimate RV volumes compared to SSFP at 1.5T (mean difference of RVEDV 8.2+/-9.3ml) and to FGRE at 7T with voxel size (1.2x1.2x6) mm3 (mean difference of RVEDV 9.3+/-8.6ml). CONCLUSIONS: FGRE cine imaging of the RV at 7T was feasible and provided good image quality. RV dimensions and function were comparable to SSFP at 1.5T as gold standard.
Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 03/2013; 15(1):23. · 4.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To implement, examine, and compare three multichannel transmit/receive coil configurations for cardiovascular MR (CMR) at 7T.
Three radiofrequency transmit-receive (TX/RX) coils with 4-, 8-, and 16-coil elements were used. Ten healthy volunteers (seven males, age 28 ± 4 years) underwent CMR at 7T. For all three RX/TX coils, 2D CINE FLASH images of the heart were acquired. Cardiac chamber quantification, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) analysis, parallel imaging performance assessment, and image quality scoring were performed.
Mean total examination time was 29 ± 5 min. All images obtained with the 8- and 16-channel coils were diagnostic. No significant difference in ejection fraction (EF) (P > 0.09) or left ventricular mass (LVM) (P > 0.31) was observed between the coils. The 8- and 16-channel arrays yielded a higher mean SNR in the septum versus the 4-channel coil. The lowest geometry factors were found for the 16-channel coil (mean ± SD 2.3 ± 0.5 for R = 4). Image quality was rated significantly higher (P < 0.04) for the 16-channel coil versus the 8- and 4-channel coils.
All three coil configurations are suitable for CMR at 7.0T under routine circumstances. A larger number of coil elements enhances image quality and parallel imaging performance but does not impact the accuracy of cardiac chamber quantification. KEY POINTS : • Cardiac chamber quantification using 7.0T magnetic resonance imaging is feasible. • Examination times for cardiac chamber quantification at 7.0T match current clinical practice. • Multichannel transceiver RF technology facilitates improved image quality and parallel imaging performance. • Increasing the number of RF channels does not influence cardiac chamber quantification.
European Radiology 06/2012; 22(10):2211-20. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The sensitivity gain of ultrahigh field Magnetic Resonance (UHF-MR) holds the promise to enhance spatial and temporal resolution. Such improvements could be beneficial for cardiovascular MR. However, intracoronary stents used for treatment of coronary artery disease are currently considered to be contra-indications for UHF-MR. The antenna effect induced by a stent together with RF wavelength shortening could increase local radiofrequency (RF) power deposition at 7.0 T and bears the potential to induce local heating, which might cause tissue damage. Realizing these constraints, this work examines RF heating effects of stents using electro-magnetic field (EMF) simulations and phantoms with properties that mimic myocardium. For this purpose, RF power deposition that exceeds the clinical limits was induced by a dedicated birdcage coil. Fiber optic probes and MR thermometry were applied for temperature monitoring using agarose phantoms containing copper tubes or coronary stents. The results demonstrate an agreement between RF heating induced temperature changes derived from EMF simulations versus MR thermometry. The birdcage coil tailored for RF heating was capable of irradiating power exceeding the specific-absorption rate (SAR) limits defined by the IEC guidelines by a factor of three. This setup afforded RF induced temperature changes up to +27 K in a reference phantom. The maximum extra temperature increase, induced by a copper tube or a coronary stent was less than 3 K. The coronary stents examined showed an RF heating behavior similar to a copper tube. Our results suggest that, if IEC guidelines for local/global SAR are followed, the extra RF heating induced in myocardial tissue by stents may not be significant versus the baseline heating induced by the energy deposited by a tailored cardiac transmit RF coil at 7.0 T, and may be smaller if not insignificant than the extra RF heating observed under the circumstances used in this study.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49963. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this work is to design, examine and apply an eight channel transmit/receive coil array tailored for cardiac magnetic resonance imaging at 7.0T that provides image quality suitable for clinical use, patient comfort, and ease of use. The cardiac coil array was designed to consist of a planar posterior section and a modestly curved anterior section. For radio frequency (RF) safety validation, numerical computations of the electromagnetic field (EMF) and the specific absorption rate (SAR) distribution were conducted. In vivo cardiac imaging was performed using a 2D CINE FLASH technique. For signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) assessment reconstructed images were scaled in SNR units. The parallel imaging capabilities of the coil were examined using GRAPPA and SENSE reconstruction with reduction factors of up to R=4. The assessment of the RF characteristics yielded a maximum noise correlation of 0.33. The baseline SNR advantage at 7.0T was put to use to acquire 2D CINE images of the heart with a spatial resolution of 1mm×1mm×4mm. The coil array supports 1D acceleration factors of up to R=3 without impairing image quality significantly. For un-accelerated 2D CINE FLASH acquisitions the results revealed an SNR of approximately 140 for the left ventricular blood pool. Blood/myocardium contrast was found to be approximately 90 for un-accelerated 2D CINE FLASH acquisitions. The proposed 8 channel cardiac transceiver surface coil has the capability to acquire high contrast, high spatial and temporal resolution in vivo images of the heart at 7.0T.
European journal of radiology 09/2011; · 2.65 Impact Factor