A 12-channel flexible receiver coil for accelerated tongue imaging

Luuk Voskuilen*, Paul de Heer, Lisette van der Molen, Alfons J.M. Balm, Ferdinand van der Heijden, Gustav J. Strijkers, Ludi E. Smeele, Aart J. Nederveen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: MRI of the tongue requires acceleration to minimise motion artefacts and to facilitate real-time imaging of swallowing. To accelerate tongue MRI, we designed a dedicated flexible receiver coil. Materials and methods: We designed a flexible 12-channel receiver coil for tongue MRI at 3T and compared it to a conventional head-and-neck coil regarding SNR and g-factor. Furthermore, two accelerated imaging techniques were evaluated using both coils: multiband (MB) diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) and real-time MRI of swallowing. Results: The flexible coil had significantly higher SNR in the anterior (2.1 times higher, P = 0.002) and posterior (2.0 times higher, P < 0.001) parts of the tongue, while the g-factor was lower at higher acceleration. Unlike for the flexible coil, the apparent diffusion coefficient (P = 0.001) and fractional anisotropy (P = 0.008) deteriorated significantly while using the conventional coil after accelerating DTI with MB. The image quality of real-time MRI of swallowing was significantly better for hyoid elevation (P = 0.029) using the flexible coil. Conclusion: Facilitated by higher SNR and lower g-factor values, our flexible tongue coil allows faster imaging, which was successfully demonstrated in MB DTI and real-time MRI of swallowing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-590
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance materials in physics, biology and medicine
Issue number4
Early online date16 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Cine
  • Deglutition
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Tongue
  • Acceleration


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