1Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States; 2Electrical and Computer Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, United States; 3Advanced Imaging Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States; 4Radiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, United States; 5Philips Medical Systems, Cleveland, OH, United States
B1 inhomogeneities associated with high fields make effective imaging and hardware design challenging. "Forced current excitation" (FCE) provides homogeneous excitation and ease of tuning, irrespective of asymmetric loading, but the necessary incorporation of transmission line lengths in the resonant structure decreases SNR. This work presents the combined use of a FCE transmit breast coil with a 16-channel receive array insert to increase the receive sensitivity while taking advantage of the benefits of FCE during transmission. Breast imaging results indicate an improvement in SNR of up to six times from the insert as compared to the FCE coil in T/R mode.