PURPOSE: To develop a 16-channel transceive body imaging array at 7.0 T with improved transmit, receive, and specific absorption rate (SAR) performance by combining both loop and dipole elements and using their respective and complementary near and far field characteristics.
METHODS: A 16-channel radiofrequency (RF) coil array consisting of eight loop-dipole blocks (16LD) was designed and constructed. Transmit and receive performance was quantitatively investigated in phantom and human model simulations, and experiments on five healthy volunteers inside the prostate. Comparisons were made with 16-channel microstrip line (16ML) and 10-channel fractionated dipole antenna (10DA) arrays. The 16LD was used to acquire anatomic and functional images of the prostate, kidneys, and heart.
RESULTS: The 16LD provided > 14% improvements in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), peak B1+, B1+ transmit, and SAR efficiencies over the 16ML and 10DA in simulations inside the prostate. Experimentally, the 16LD had > 20% higher SNR and B1+ transmit efficiency compared with other arrays, and achieved up to 51.8% higher peak B1+ compared with 10DA.
CONCLUSION: Combining loop and dipole elements provided a body imaging array with high channel count and density while limiting inter-element coupling. The 16LD improved both near and far-field performance compared with existing 7.0T body arrays and provided high-quality MRI of the prostate kidneys and heart. Magn Reson Med 77:884-894, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.