MRI dynamic range and its compatibility with signal transmission media

Refaat E. Gabr, Michael Schär, Arthur D. Edelstein, Dara L. Kraitchman, Paul A. Bottomley, William A. Edelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


As the number of MRI phased array coil elements grows, interactions among cables connecting them to the system receiver become increasingly problematic. Fiber optic or wireless links would reduce electromagnetic interference, but their dynamic range (DR) is generally less than that of coaxial cables. Raw MRI signals, however, have a large DR because of the high signal amplitude near the center of k-space. Here, we study DR in MRI in order to determine the compatibility of MRI multicoil imaging with non-coaxial cable signal transmission. Since raw signal data are routinely discarded, we have developed an improved method for estimating the DR of MRI signals from conventional magnitude images. Our results indicate that the DR of typical surface coil signals at 3 T for human subjects is less than 88 dB, even for three-dimensional acquisition protocols. Cardiac and spine coil arrays had a maximum DR of less than 75 dB and head coil arrays less than 88 dB. The DR derived from magnitude images is in good agreement with that measured from raw data. The results suggest that current analog fiber optic links, with a spurious-free DR of 60-70 dB at 500 kHz bandwidth, are not by themselves adequate for transmitting MRI data from volume or array coils with DR ∼90 dB. However, combining analog links with signal compression might make non-coaxial cable signal transmission viable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Dynamic range
  • Fiber optic link
  • MRI
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnitude image
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Wireless link

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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