Dipole antennas for ultrahigh-field body imaging: a comparison with loop coils

A.J.E. Raaijmakers, P.R. Luijten, C.A.T. van den Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Although the potential of dipole antennas for ultrahigh-field (UHF) MRI is largely recognized, they are still relatively unknown to the larger part of the MRI community. This article intends to provide electromagnetic insight into the general operating principles of dipole antennas by numerical simulations. The major part focuses on a comparison study of dipole antennas and loop coils at frequencies of 128, 298 and 400 MHz. This study shows that dipole antennas are only efficient radiofrequency (RF) coils in the presence of a dielectric and/or conducting load. In addition, the conservative electric fields (E-fields) at the ends of a dipole are negligible in comparison with the induced E-fields in the center. Like loop coils, long dipole antennas perform better than short dipoles for deeply located imaging targets and vice versa. When the optimal element is chosen for each depth, loop coils have higher B1 (+) efficiency for shallow depths, whereas dipole antennas have higher B1 (+) efficiency for large depths. The cross-over point depth decreases with increasing frequency: 11.6, 6.2 and 5.0 cm for 128, 298 and 400 MHz, respectively. For single elements, loop coils demonstrate a better B1 (+) /√SARmax ratio for any target depth and any frequency. However, one example study shows that, in an array setup with loop coil overlap for decoupling, this relationship is not straightforward. The overlapping loop coils may generate increased specific absorption rate (SAR) levels under the overlapping parts of the loops, depending on the drive phase settings. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122-1130
Number of pages9
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Fields
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetics
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transducers
  • Whole Body Imaging
  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Studies
  • Journal Article


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