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Motivated by the observation that the diagonal pattern of intensity nonuniformity usually associated with linearly polarized radio-frequency (RF) coils is often present in neurological scans using circularly polarized coils, a theoretical analysis has been conducted of the intensity nonuniformity inherent in imaging an elliptically shaped object using 1.5-T magnets and circularly polarized RF coils. This first principle analysis clarifies, for the general case of conducting objects, the relationship between the excitation field and the reception sensitivity of circularly and linearly polarized coils. The results, validated experimentally using a standard spin-echo imaging sequence and an in vivo B 1 field mapping technique, are shown to be accurate to within 1%-2% root mean square, suggesting that these electromagnetic interactions with the object account for most of the intensity nonuniformity observed.
Date of Publication: Aug. 1998