The “Loopole” Antenna: A Hybrid Coil Combining Loop and Electric Dipole Properties for Ultra-High-Field MRIRead the full article
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The “Loopole” Antenna: A Hybrid Coil Combining Loop and Electric Dipole Properties for Ultra-High-Field MRI
Purpose. To revisit the “loopole,” an unusual coil topology whose unbalanced current distribution captures both loop and electric dipole properties, which can be advantageous in ultra-high-field MRI. Methods. Loopole coils were built by deliberately breaking the capacitor symmetry of traditional loop coils. The corresponding current distribution, transmit efficiency, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were evaluated in simulation and experiments in comparison to those of loops and electric dipoles at 7 T (297 MHz). Results. The loopole coil exhibited a hybrid current pattern, comprising features of both loops and electric dipole current patterns. Depending on the orientation relative to B0, the loopole demonstrated significant performance boost in either the transmit efficiency or SNR at the center of a dielectric sample when compared to a traditional loop. Modest improvements were observed when compared to an electric dipole. Conclusion. The loopole can achieve high performance by supporting both divergence-free and curl-free current patterns, which are both significant contributors to the ultimate intrinsic performance at ultra-high field. While electric dipoles exhibit similar hybrid properties, loopoles maintain the engineering advantages of loops, such as geometric decoupling and reduced resonance frequency dependence on sample loading.
Thermal Effects Associated with RF Exposures in Diagnostic MRI: Overview of Existing and Emerging Concepts of Protection
Apart from magnetic attraction risks, the primary biophysical concern associated with MRI is radiofrequency heating of the human body and associated discomfort, health deterioration, or potential burns. This paper reviews experimental data and numerical modeling of systemic (core and brain) temperature and local thermal effects associated with diagnostic MRI exposures at 1.5T (64 MHz) and 3.0T (128 MHz). Allowable temperatures and duration of systemic exposure are established based on knowledge of (short-term) human thermobiology. Longer term effects related to DNA damage or altered cellular pathways are not covered in this review. Updated limits are proposed for core temperature increase (≤1.3°C) and for Specific Absorption (<4 kJ/kg). The potential use of thermal dose (CEM43) for local thermal protection is described, and previously proposed exposure limit values are evaluated against available data from current MRI practice. Gaps in knowledge are identified, and recommendations for additional research are provided.
Inherent Geometry Correction for Diffusion EPI Using the Reference Echoes as Navigators
Diffusion-weighted EPI has become an indispensable tool in body MRI. Geometric distortions due to field inhomogeneities are more prominent at large field–of–view and require correction for comparison with T2W TSE. Several known correction methods require acquisition of additional lengthy scans, which are difficult to apply in body imaging. We implement and evaluate a geometry correction method based on the already available non phase-encoded EPI reference data used for Nyquist ghost removal. The method is shown to provide accurate and robust global geometry correction in the absence of strong, local phase offsets. It does not require additional time for calibrations and is directly compatible with parallel imaging methods. The resulting images can serve as improved starting point for additional geometry correction methods relying on feature extraction and registration.