OBJECTIVE. The Adaptive Image Receive (AIR) radiofrequency coil is an emergent technology that is lightweight and flexible and exhibits electrical characteristics that overcome many of the limitations of traditional rigid coil designs. The purpose of this study was to apply the AIR coil for whole-brain imaging and compare the performance of a prototype AIR coil array with the performance of conventional head coils. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. A phantom and 15 healthy adult participants were imaged. A prototype 16-channel head AIR coil was compared with conventional 8- and 32-channel head coils using clinically available MRI sequences. During consensus review, two board-certified neuroradiologists graded the AIR coil compared with an 8-channel coil and a 32-channel coil on a 5-point ordinal scale in multiple categories. One- and two-sided Wilcoxon signed rank tests were performed. Noise covariance matrices and geometry factor (g-factor) maps were calculated. RESULTS. The signal-to-noise ratio, structural sharpness, and overall image quality scores of the prototype 16-channel AIR coil were better than those of the 8-channel coil but were not as good as those of the 32-channel coil. Noise covariance matrices showed stable performance of the AIR coil across participants. The median g-factors for the 16-channel AIR coil were, overall, less than those of the 8-channel coil but were greater than those of the 32-channel coil. CONCLUSION. On average, the prototype 16-channel head AIR coil outperformed a conventional 8-channel head coil but did not perform as well as a conventional 32-channel head coil. This study shows the feasibility of the novel AIR coil technology for imaging the brain and provides insight for future coil design improvements.
- Adaptive Image Receive (AIR) coil
- Brain imaging
- Multielement receive-only coils
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging