Radio frequency magnetic field mapping of a 3 Tesla birdcage coil: experimental and theoretical dependence on sample properties.
Alecci M., Collins CM., Smith MB., Jezzard P.
The RF B(1) distribution was studied, theoretically and experimentally, in phantoms and in the head of volunteers using a 3 T MRI system equipped with a birdcage coil. Agreement between numerical simulation and experiment demonstrates that B(1) distortion at high field can be explained with 3D full-Maxwell calculations. It was found that the B(1) distribution in the transverse plane is strongly dependent on the dielectric properties of the sample. We show that this is a consequence of RF penetration effects combined with RF standing wave effects. In contrast, along the birdcage coil z-axis the B(1) distribution is determined mainly by the coil geometry. In the transverse plane, the region of B(1) uniformity (within 10% of the maximum) was 15 cm with oil, 6 cm with distilled water, 11 cm with saline, and 10 cm in the head. Along z the B(1) uniformity was 9 cm with phantoms and 7 cm in the head.