Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Giovannetti G., Landini L., Santarelli M. F., Positano V. A fast and accurate simulator for the design of birdcage coils in MRI. In: Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics Biology and Medicine, vol. 15/1-3 pp. 36 - 44. Elsevier Science, 2002.
The birdcage coils are extensively used in MRI systems since they introduce a high signal to noise ratio and a high radiofrequency magnetic field homogeneity that guarantee a large field of view. The present article describes the implementation of a birdcage coil simulator, operating in high-pass and low-pass modes, using magnetostatic analysis of the coil. Respect to other simulators described in literature, our simulator allows to obtain in short time not only the dominant frequency mode, but also the complete resonant frequency spectrum and the relevant magnetic field pattern with high accuracy. Our simulator accounts for all the inductances including the mutual inductances between conductors. Moreover, the inductance calculation includes an accurately birdcage geometry description and the effect of a radiofrequency shield. The knowledge of all the resonance modes introduced by a birdcage coil is twofold useful during birdcage coil design: - higher order modes should be pushed far from the fundamental one, - for particular applications, it is necessary to localize other resonant modes (as the Helmholtz mode) jointly to the dominant mode. The knowledge of the magnetic field pattern allows to a priori verify the field homogeneity created inside the coil, when varying the coil dimension and mainly the number of the coil legs. The coil is analyzed using equivalent circuit method. Finally, the simulator is validated by implementing a low-pass birdcage coil and comparing our data with the literature.
Subject birdcage coil
RF magnetic field
software simulator

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