In vivo sensitivity estimation and imaging acceleration with rotating RF coil arrays at 7 Tesla.
This study explores the performance of a novel hybrid technology, in which the recently introduced rotating RF coil (RRFC) was combined with the principles of Parallel Imaging (PI) to improve the quality and speed of magnetic resonance (MR) images. To evaluate the system, a low-density naturally-decoupled 4-channel rotating radiofrequency coil array (RRFCA) was modelled and investigated. The traditional SENSitivity Encoding (SENSE) reconstruction method and the means of calculating the geometry factor distribution (g map) were adapted to take into account the transient sensitivity encoding. It was found from simulations at 3T that, continuous rotating motion considerably enhanced the coil sensitivity encoding capability, making higher reduction factors in scan time possible. The sensitivity encoding capability can be further improved by choosing an optimal speed of array rotation. Compared to traditional phased-array coils (PACs) with twice as many coil elements, the RRFCA demonstrated clear advantages in terms of quality of reconstruction and superior noise behaviour in all the cases investigated in this initial study.