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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2014011482
pages 109-135

Radiofrequency Coils for Magnetic Resonance Applications: Theory, Design, and Evaluation

Giulio Giovannetti
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy; Fondazione G. Monasterio CNR − Regione Toscana, Pisa, Italy
Valentina Hartwig
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy; Fondazione G. Monasterio CNR − Regione Toscana, Pisa, Italy
Vincenzo Positano
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy; Fondazione G. Monasterio CNR − Regione Toscana, Pisa, Italy
Nicola Vanello
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Pisa, Italy; Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

ABSTRACT

Magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy are noninvasive diagnostic techniques based on the phenomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance. Radiofrequency coils are key components in both the transmission and receiving phases of magnetic resonance systems. Transmitter coils have to produce a highly homogeneous alternating field in a wide field of view, whereas receiver coils have to maximize signal detection while minimizing noise. Development of modern magnetic resonance coils often is based on numerical methods for simulating and predicting coil performance. Numerical methods allows the behavior of the coil in the presence of realistic loads to be simulated and the coil's efficiency at high magnetic fields to be investigated. After being built, coils have to be characterized in the laboratory to optimize their setting and performance by extracting several quality indices. Successively, coils performance has to be evaluated in a scanner using standardized image quality parameters with phantom and human experiments. This article reviews the principles of radiofrequency coils, coil performance parameters, and their estimation methods using simulations, workbench, and magnetic resonance experiments. Finally, an overview of future developments in radiofrequency coils technology is included.


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