The recently introduced planar strip array (PSA) can significantly reduce scan times in parallel MRI by enabling the utilization of a large number of RF strip detectors that are inherently decoupled, and are tuned by adjusting the strip length to integer multiples of a quarter-wavelength (λ/4) in the presence of a ground plane and dielectric substrate. In addition, the more explicit spatial information embedded in the phase of the signals from the strip array is advantageous (compared to loop arrays) for limiting aliasing artifacts in parallel MRI. However, losses in the detector as its natural resonance frequency approaches the Larmor frequency (where the wavelength is long at 1.5 T) may limit the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the PSA. Moreover, the PSA's inherent, λ/4 structure severely limits our ability to adjust detector geometry to optimize the performance for a specific organ system, as is done with loop coils. In this study we replaced the dielectric substrate with discrete capacitors, which resulted in both SNR improvement and a tunable lumped-element PSA (LPSA) whose dimensions can be optimized within broad constraints, for a given region of interest (ROI) and MRI frequency. A detailed theoretical analysis of the LPSA is presented, including its equivalent circuit, electromagnetic fields, SNR, and g-factor maps for parallel MRI. Two different decoupling schemes for the LPSA are described. A four-element LPSA prototype was built to test the theory with quantitative measurements on images obtained with parallel and conventional acquisition schemes.
- Parallel imaging
- Strip array
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging