Optimized radiofrequency coil setup for MR examination of living isolated rat hearts in a horizontal 9.4T magnet
Lohezic M., Bollensdorff C., Korn M., Lanz T., Grau V., Kohl P., Schneider JE.
© 2014 The Authors. Purpose (i) To optimize an MR-compatible organ perfusion setup for the nondestructive investigation of isolated rat hearts by placing the radiofrequency (RF) coil inside the perfusion chamber; (ii) to characterize the benefit of this system for diffusion tensor imaging and proton (<sup>1</sup>H-) MR spectroscopy. Methods Coil quality assessment was conducted both on the bench, and in the magnet. The benefit of the new RF-coil was quantified by measuring signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), accuracy, and precision of diffusion tensor imaging/error in metabolite amplitude estimation, and compared to an RF-coil placed externally to the perfusion chamber. Results The new design provided a 59% gain in signal-to-noise ratio on a fixed rat heart compared to using an external resonator, which found reflection in an improvement of living heart data quality, compared to previous external resonator studies. This resulted in 14-29% improvement in accuracy and precision of diffusion tensor imaging. The Cramer-Rao lower bounds for metabolite amplitude estimations were up to 5-fold smaller. Conclusion Optimization of MR-compatible perfusion equipment advances the study of rat hearts with improved signal-to-noise ratio performance, and thus improved accuracy/precision. Magn Reson Med 73:2398-2405, 2015.