B1+/actual flip angle and reception sensitivity mapping methods: Simulation and comparison
Knowledge of the spatial distribution of transmission field B(1)(+) and reception sensitivity maps is important in high-field (≥3 T) human magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for several reasons: these include post-acquisition correction of intensity inhomogeneities, which may affect the quality of images; modeling and design of radiofrequency (RF) coils and pulses; validating theoretical models for electromagnetic field calculations; testing the compatibility with MR environment of biomedical implants. Moreover, inhomogeneities in the RF field are an essential source of error for quantitative MR spectroscopy. Recent studies have also shown that B(1)(+) and reception sensitivity maps can be used for direct calculation of tissue electrical parameters and for estimating the local specific absorption rate (SAR) in vivo. Several B(1)(+) mapping techniques have been introduced in the past few years based on actual flip angle (FA) mapping, but, to date, none has emerged as a standard. For reception sensitivity calculation, the signal intensity equation can be used where the nominal FA distribution must be replaced with the actual FA distribution calculated by one of the B(1)(+) mapping techniques. This study introduces a quantitative comparison between two known methods for B(1)(+)/actual FA and reception sensitivity mapping: the double-angle method (DAM) and the fitting (FIT) method. Experimental data obtained using DAM and FIT methods are also compared with numerical simulation results.