Date: 27 Sep 2012

Dynamic MR imaging of a minipig’s knee using a high-density multi-channel receive array and a movement device

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Abstract

Object

To construct an optimised, high-density receive array and a movement device to achieve dynamic imaging of the knee in orthopedic large animal models (e.g., minipigs) at 1.5 T.

Materials and methods

A 13-channel RF receive array was constructed, and the crucial choice of the array element size (based on considerations like region of interest, geometry of the minipig’s knee, achievable signal-to-noise ratio, applicability of parallel imaging, etc.) was determined using the Q factors of loops with different sizes. A special movement device was constructed to guide and produce a reproducible motion of the minipig’s knee during acquisition.

Results

The constructed array was electrically characterised and the reproducibility of the cyclic motion was validated. Snapshots of dynamic in vivo images taken at a temporal resolution (308 ms) are presented. Some of the fine internal structures within the minipig’s knee, like cruciate ligaments, are traced in the snapshots.

Conclusion

This study is a step towards making dynamic imaging which can give additional information about joint injuries when static MRI is not able to give sufficient information, a routine clinical application. There, the combination of a high-density receive array and a movement device will be highly helpful in the diagnosis and therapy monitoring of knee injuries in the future.

Sairamesh Raghuraman and Joachim H. X. Schrauth contributed equally to the manuscript.