Improvements in lumbar spine MRI at 3 T using parallel transmission

Christopher G. Filippi, Morgan Carlson, Jason M. Johnson, Heather N. Burbank, Gary F. Alsofrom, Trevor Andrews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. Parallel transmission MRI at 3 T improves image quality by reducing dielectric effects with radiofrequency shimming. The purpose of this study was to determine whether parallel transmission MRI improves signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) in lumbar spine MRI at 3 T. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Ten healthy volunteers underwent T1-weighted MRI and nine healthy volunteers underwent T2-weighted MRI of the lumbar spine. Sagittal and axial T1- and T2-weighted images were acquired using parallel transmission MRI and conventional MRI. The percentage improvements in SNR and CNR were calculated, and statistical significance was determined using a two-tailed Student t test with p < 0.05 for significance. RESULTS. The CNR and SNR showed statistically significant improvements at all levels of the lumbar spine except SNR at T11 on axial T2-weighted imaging. For sagittal T1-weighted imaging, the average improvement with parallel transmission MRI was 53% in CNR and 19% in SNR. For axial T1-weighted imaging, the average improvement was 48% in CNR and 23% in SNR. For sagittal T2-weighted imaging, the average CNR improvement was 38% and the average SNR improvement, 20%. For axial T2-weighted scans, the average percentage improvement in CNR was greater than 100% and the average SNR improvement was 18% with parallel transmission MRI. CONCLUSION. The parallel transmission sequence improves image quality of lumbar spine MRI at 3 T, which is quantitatively supported by statistically significant improvements in SNR and CNR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-867
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • 3-T MRI
  • Lumbar spine MRI
  • Parallel transmission MRI


Dive into the research topics of 'Improvements in lumbar spine MRI at 3 T using parallel transmission'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this