Estimating achievable signal-to-noise ratios of MRI transmit-receive coils from radiofrequency power measurements: applications in quality control

T W Redpath, C J Wiggins

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10 Citations (Scopus)


The inverse relationship between the radiofrequency (RF) power needed to transmit a 90 degrees RF pulse, and the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) available from a transmit-receive RF coil is well known. The theory is restated and a formula given for the signal-to-noise ratio from water, achievable from a single-shot MRI experiment, in terms of the net forward RF power needed for a rectangular 90 degrees RF pulse of known shape and duration. The result is normalized to a signal bandwidth of 1 Hz and a sample mass of 1 g. The RF power information needed is available on most commercial scanners, as it is used to calculate specific absorption rates for RF tissue healing. The achievable SNR figure will normally be larger that that actually observed, mainly because of receiver noise, but also because of inaccuracies in setting RF pulse angles, and relaxation effects. Phantom experiments were performed on the transmit-receive RF head coil of a commercial MRI system at 0.95 T using a projection method. The measured SNR agreed with that expected from the formula for achievable SNR once a correction was made for the noise figure of the receiving chain. Comparisons of measured SNR figures with those calculated from RF power measurements are expected to be of value in acceptance testing and quality control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-227
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2000



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