Purpose: To evaluate the performance of a new, highly flexible radiofrequency (RF) coil system for imaging patients undergoing MR simulation. Methods: Volumetric phantom and in vivo images were acquired with a commercially available and prototype RF coil set. Phantom evaluation was performed using a silicone-filled humanoid phantom of the head and shoulders. In vivo assessment was performed in five healthy and six patient subjects. Phantom data included T1-weighted volumetric imaging, while in vivo acquisitions included both T1- and T2-weighted volumetric imaging. Signal to noise ratio (SNR) and uniformity metrics were calculated in the phantom data, while SNR values were calculated in vivo. Statistical significance was tested by means of a non-parametric analysis of variance test. Results: At a threshold of p = 0.05, differences in measured SNR distributions within the entire phantom volume were statistically different in two of the three paired coil set comparisons. Differences in per slice average SNR between the two coil sets were all statistically significant, as well as differences in per slice image uniformity. For patients, SNRs within the entire imaging volume were statistically significantly different in four of the nine comparisons and seven of the nine comparisons performed on the per slice average SNR values. For healthy subjects, SNRs within the entire imaging volume were statistically significantly different in seven of the nine comparisons and eight of the nine comparisons when per slice average SNR was tested. Conclusions: Phantom and in vivo results demonstrate that image quality obtained from the novel flexible RF coil set was similar or improved over the conventional coil system. The results also demonstrate that image quality is impacted by the specific coil configurations used for imaging and should be matched appropriately to the anatomic site imaged to ensure optimal and reproducible image quality.
- adaptive image receive (AIR) coil
- head and neck
- radiofrequency coils
- treatment simulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas