Fetal MRI on a multi-element digital coil platform
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Fetal MRI has an increasing list of indications and is most commonly employed when anomalies detected by prenatal ultrasonography require further characterization. This may occur when sonography is technically challenging or where specific MRI findings will determine pre- and postnatal management, including critical in utero and/or peripartum interventions. In these circumstances, there are high expectations for MRI to sort out complex diagnostic dilemmas through exquisite anatomical imaging that fetal surgeons and obstetricians can comprehend and relay to their patients. These expectations, in light of evolving clinical innovations, continue to drive advances in fetal imaging. Increasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is fundamental to improving MR image quality, and proper coil selection is a key component of this pursuit. Since the introduction of parallel imaging techniques, the numbers of elements in phased-array coils have been continuously increased to achieve high SNR and shorter scan times. With the invention of a digital coil platform, it is now possible to connect combinations of multiple coil elements to enhance SNR beyond the capabilities of the adult eight-channel torso-coil routinely used in fetal imaging. This paper describes the application of multi-element radiofrequency coils on a digital broadband imaging platform with unique coil combinations to perform dedicated fetal MRI.
KeywordsFetal MRI Digital coils MRI in pregnancy Abdomen MRI
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