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The lever-coil: a simple, inexpensive sensor for respiratory and cardiac motion in MRI experiments

, : The lever-coil: a simple, inexpensive sensor for respiratory and cardiac motion in MRI experiments. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 19(6): 881-889

Thoracic and abdominal magnetic resonance imaging studies generally require some type of compensation for respiratory and cardiac motions in order to yield artifact-free images with good signal-to-noise ratio. Most techniques for respiratory compensation require the use of a non-NMR sensing device to monitor the subject's chest motion, while cardiac motion compensation generally requires the use of ECG leads within the magnet. An inductive pickup coil placed on the subject's chest is perhaps the simplest and least expensive means of monitoring respiration in a MR scanner. However, due to inductive coupling between the pickup coil, radio frequency resonator and gradient set, this arrangement often results in both NMR and respiratory signal artifacts and can also present a burn hazard to the subject depending on the placement and orientation of the pickup coil. Moreover, the presence of a pickup coil on the chest can degrade local magnetic field homogeneity and thus degrade image quality. Similar problems arise when ECG leads must be connected to the subject for cardiac monitoring and gating. To preserve the benefits of the simple pickup coil while circumventing these limitations, a "lever-coil" sensor is presented in which a pickup coil is mechanically coupled to the subject but is not located within the resonator or gradient coil. This results in much lower mutual inductance between the pickup coil and the resonator or gradients. The optimization of the geometry of the apparatus is discussed and lever-coil signal traces are shown which demonstrate the sensor's ability to simultaneously detect both respiratory and cardiac motion in mice. Finally, respiratory-gated and cardiac-triggered spin echo images of the rat abdomen and mouse heart are presented to demonstrate the utility of the lever-coil sensor.


PMID: 11551730

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