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Analysis of MRI systems including a human-body model

Mr. R.P. Kleihorst, Philips Medical Systems Dr. M.H. Vogel, Ansoft Corporation

Contents
What is MRI? Philips MRI systems Ansoft human-body model Simulation results Verification with measurements

1. What is MRI?

Nuclear spin alignment

Excite the spins with an RF field

When spins fall back, they emit an RF signal

Design challenges for the RF coils


Need resonance at the correct frequency. Need a rotating B field with the correct polarization. Rotating B field has to be much stronger than any anti-rotating components in the field of view (FOV). Rotating B field has to be close to uniform in the FOV. This FOV has to be large, e.g. 50 cm in all directions. SAR regulations have to be satisfied while transmitting. Receive-mode sensitivity has to be high as signal from nuclei is very weak.

2. Philips MRI systems

A. Systems with cylindrical magnets, e.g. Philips Achieva

Birdcage-type RF coil

Rotating B field in birdcage

Electric field in birdcage

B. Open MRI systems, e.g. Philips Panorama 1.0T

Open system has a different RF coil design.

Rotating B in Panorama

Electric field in Panorama

3. Ansoft human-body model

Accuracy at millimeter level 300+ objects: bones, muscles, organs Frequency-dependent material parameters included

Example level of detail

Example level of detail: discs and nerves in neck

Example level of detail: bones in foot

4. Simulation results

Need to include everything in one model

The flexibility of grid sizing in finite elements leads to an order of magnitude in time savings compared to FD-TD.
S. Reza and C.A. Saylor, Invivo Corp, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A. Proceedings International Society on Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 14, 2006.

Desired rotating B-field: strong in the center, smooth, little variation over large field of view

Undesired anti-rotating B-field is weak in the field of view

Over a distance of more than 50 cm, the desired component exceeds the undesired one by at least 12 dB. Notice that the level of the rotating component is almost constant over a large distance.

Another design challenge is to keep the SAR within regulations. Pictures show SAR on skin, front and back.

SAR in cross section. Note its small in bones, since bones have lower conductivity.

Monitor SAR in parametric sweep of body position

Value of maximum SAR during sweep

Position of maximum SAR during sweep

What if the patient has a pacemaker?

Hot spot occurs at the end of the wire

5. Verification with measurements


Philips has performed temperature measurements on a phantom in an MRI system. These can be compared with ePhysics simulations. The phantoms shape and size resemble somewhat a human torso. It consists of a polycarbonate box, filled with gel that has body-like electrical properties, and insulated with styrofoam.

Phantom with temperature sensors is entered into 1.5T MRI system

ePhysics
Obtains electromagnetic power losses from HFSS for every location in the model very detailed. Electromagnetic power losses become distributed heat sources. Heat spreads due to conduction (material property), convection and radiation (boundary conditions). ePhysics determines temperature distribution as a function of time.

Example E-field in MRI system with phantom


Note: logarithmic scale. Leaking fields are very weak.

E-field in lossy medium

absorbed power

This will be the input for an ePhysics temperature simulation.

ePhysics temperature result


Time 4800 s, end of applied RF power. Note that measurement point is on a temperature gradient.

Position L1, Head

Position L2, Head

Position L3, Body

Compare simulations and measurements

System requirements
Human-body model without interior structure in MRI system: 3.6 GB RAM, 37 minutes for adaptive passes, 35 minutes for interpolating frequency sweep. Human-body model with bones, muscles and organs in MRI system: 21 GB RAM, 5 hours 40 minutes for adaptive passes, 7 hours 50 minutes for interpolating sweep.

Conclusions
In HFSS, you can combine very small details and very large volumes in one model without time penalty. For MRI, this enables you to model a detailed human body and a detailed RF coil in a large room. All the MRI design challenges can be handled when youre armed with HFSS and the Ansoft human-body model.