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Tips for working with the SENSE Head Spine coil

Application Tip
van Battum, Marjolijn Philips Healthcare Philips Global

The SENSE Head Spine coil for Achieva 3.0T and 1.5T systems of release 2.1.3 or higher enables optimized neuro and spine imaging. Full coverage from head to sacrum can be performed without patient repositioning, including axial scanning on all levels.


Coil element selection is fully flexible when using the SENSE Head Spine coil. It combines the SENSE Spine 15 coil and the SENSE NeuroVascular 16 coil. The anterior coil part can be replaced by a dedicated top-off part for scanning lumbar spine only or for claustrophobic patients. In topoff scanning selectable elements are TO-HNPC or TO-NPC.


SENSE Head Spine coil With top-off part
SENSE Head Spine coil
With top-off part
 Elements in SENSE Spine 15 coil. Elements in SENSE NeuroVascular 16 coil: H=Head, N=Neck,
AC=Anterior coil, PC=Posterior coil.
Elements in SENSE Spine 15 coil.
Elements in SENSE NeuroVascular 16 coil: H=Head, N=Neck, AC=Anterior coil, PC=Posterior coil.

Tip 1: Use the ExampleCards on the scanner

Two dedicated ExampleCards for the SENSE Head Spine Coil are provided with the system.


The Total Neuro ExamCard for SENSE Head Spine coil includes high resolution, three-station T1W TSE, T2W TSE and STIR scans.


In this ExamCard, Scan Align enables easy planning of all stacks at once and Geolinks enable fusing by the MobiView package. Coil element selection is optimized for the different stations.


Tip 2: Select the right coil elements

The ExampleCard uses a two-station survey: first station with the NeuroVascular 16 coil, second station with Spine 15 coil. The signal drop shows where the NeuroVascular 16 coil coverage ends and the Spine 15 begins. In this low signal area a station using both coils in dual-coil mode should be planned, as indicated in the figure on the right.



This table shows which elements are recommended for scanning different parts of the spine. On a 16-channel system a maximum of 16 elements per scan can be selected. Selecting too many elements may lead to conflicts.


Tip 3: Optimizing the number of elements

In general, using more elements will result in better SNR.


For the sagittal scans in the ExamCard, it is recommended to use all elements, as this avoids errors in selecting the correct elements when using or reusing the ExamCard.


For similar reasons, also choose a wider range of elements for the axial scans in the ExamCard. Use one additional row above and below the targeted scan position.


Note that not more that 16 elements per scan can be selected on a 16-channel system.

Tip 4: Use the 31-channel SENSE Head Spine coil in dual mode

The 31-channel SENSE Head Spine coil is a combination of the 16-channel SENSE NeuroVascular coil and 15-channel SENSE Spine coil. In dual mode, elements from both coils can be selected for combined use.


Select Dual coil = yes

Select coil 1 = SENSE-NV-16

Select required elements

Select coil 2 = SENSE-Spine-15

Select required elements


Tip 5: CLEAR, homogeneity correction with SENSE Spine 15 coil

For the SENSE Spine 15 coil homogeneity correction is built into the coil file. Therefore, the homogeneity correction parameter is not visible for this coil.

Switch CLEAR on to obtain a CLEAR reconstruction. When CLEAR is switched off a normal synergy reconstruction is performed

Tip 6: Setting up a dual coil reference scan

The Philips RefScans folder contains a dual coil reference scan for the SENSE Head Spine coil. Select the same elements for the reference scan as used in the anatomical scans.


To modify an existing reference scan into a dual coil reference scan:

  • Open an existing RefScan, for instance the NV_16 RefScan
  • Select Dual coil
  • Select as second coil SENSE-Spine-15
  • Select for each coil the same elements as in the anatomical scans

Tip 7: Optimize the ExamCard according to user preferences

When customized ExamCards are needed, it is recommended to use one of the SENSE Head Spine coil ExampleCards on the system as a starting point for optimization, because features like ScanAlign, Geolinks and optimal coil element selection are already setup in the ExampleCards. Then optimize number of slices, slice thickness and resolution according to the local preferences.


For Total Spine imaging, the SENSE Head Spine coil may be used with the top-off part instead of the anterior coil part. The Philips preset database also provides an ExampleCard with elements selection adapted for top-off scanning.


For easy workflow CLEAR is not used in the ExampleCards. If CLEAR is desired, Refscans must be added to the ExamCard. For best fusion results it is recommended to not use CLEAR at 3.0T.

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Oct 15, 2009

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Application Tip
Achieva 1.5T, Achieva 3.0T, Achieva 3.0T X-series
Release 2, Release 2.5, Release 2.6
Nova, Nova Dual, Pulsar, Quasar, Quasar Dual
Brain, Brain stem, Cervical spine, Lumbar spine, Neck, Neuro, Thoracic spine, Total spine

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