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MultiTransmit brings robustness to 3.0T cardiac imaging

Best Practice
Thomas, Daniel, M.D., Ph.D. University of Bonn • Germany

Bonn University has found MultiTransmit RF technology extends 3.0T imaging in cardiac applications and gives greater flexibility. For example, black blood TSE sequences are perceived to be more robust which benefits imaging of cardiomyopathies.

 Cardiac imaging team of University of Bonn University of Bonn, Germany
Cardiac imaging team of University of Bonn
University of Bonn, Germany

MultiTransmit and the cardiac application

The University of Bonn was one of the first to apply MultiTransmit in cardiac MR. Daniel Thomas, MD, attending radiologist and chief of cardiac imaging in the Department of Radiology, has worked with MultiTransmit in cardiac MR since its earliest conception. Dr. Thomas has also gained extensive experience on MultiTransmit with 3.0T spine and whole body imaging.

The radiology department sees, for example, patients with congenital heart disease, patients referred for stress testing and patients with suspected cardiomyopathies. An important aspect of MR imaging here is to rule out, or confirm, myocarditis.

MultiTransmit advantages seen in black blood TSE

“Patient-adaptive MultiTransmit – also called RF shimming – provides a more homogeneous B1 field, which translates into a more uniform signal distribution in images and better image contrast. Also in 3.0T cardiac MR, MultiTransmit produces images with excellent uniformity.

In cine images as well as black blood TSE, this results in better delineation of the myocardium versus the blood pool. Standing wave effects are now significantly reduced, especially beneficial in patients with cardiomyopathies, who often have large pleural effusion,” says Dr Thomas.

With MultiTransmit, the local SAR distribution is more homogenous, and consequently shorter TR and TE can be selected than on standard 3.0T. “The effect of a more homogeneous B1 field and shorter TR and TE is exciting; this benefits image quality as SNR and CNR increase and fewer black band artifacts are seen,” says Dr Thomas. In addition, with the optimized B1-field created by MultiTransmit, flip angles are more accurately reached. This will further improve SNR and CNR in B-TFE cine scans and will provide more homogeneous signal distribution.”

"Using MultiTransmit I see far fewer and smaller artifacts than with standard 3.0T, especially with Balanced FFE imaging. The reduction of standing wave artifacts (dielectric shading) in the heart and specifically in the right ventricular (RV) free wall makes cardiac MR so much more robust,” Dr. Thomas explains. He finds that MultiTransmit makes 3.0T more flexible and extends the use of cardiac applications. His next step is to exploit further the use of MultiTransmit in cardiac, and to translate these findings into a clinical benefit.

Dr. Thomas stresses that in cardiac applications the advantages of MultiTransmit are slightly different compared with other body regions. “We have seen an increase in image homogeneity and contrast, although the increase in speed is less in cardiac gated and breath hold TSE sequences, compared to, for example, spine imaging, where SAR issues translate into increased imaging time for TSE sequences. However, a slight increase in cine speed is seen, where improved SAR management does allow for a shorter TR and TE. This gain in speed may be used to reduce breath hold duration by 1 to 3 seconds, (depending on the scan parameters), which makes a difference for patients with problems holding their breath. Another benefit is that the TR reduction reduces the susceptibility to dark-band artifacts,” Dr Thomas concludes.

Cardiac MultiTransmit 4D is currently available for Ingenia 3.0T only.

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Dec 7, 2011

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Best Practice
3.0T, Cardiac, MultiTransmit

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