Title:
ARRANGEMENT FOR AFFIXING A MAGNETIC RESONANCE RF COIL TO A PATIENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In an arrangement to affix RF coils (in particular local coils) on a patient in examinations with a magnetic resonance apparatus, using a horizontal board to accommodate the patient for a magnetic resonance examination to be implemented; with the RF coil that has coil electronics; a fastening strap is fashioned to affix the coil on the patient and the fastening strap has an connection cable integrated therewith. The coil electronics are supplied with energy via the integrated connection cable.



Inventors:
Bollenbeck, Jan (Eggolsheim, DE)
Renz, Wolfgang (Erlangen, DE)
Application Number:
12/120856
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/15/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A61B5/055
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Primary Examiner:
SMITH, RUTH S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHIFF HARDIN, LLP - Chicago (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
We claim as our invention:

1. An arrangement to affix an RF coil on a patient for a magnetic resonance examination using the RF coil, comprising: a board configured to receive a patient thereon in a prone position for implementing a magnetic resonance examination of the patient; an RF coil for use in said magnetic resonance examination, said coil having coil electronics physically associated therewith; a fastening strap connected to the coil to affix the coil on the patient on the board; and a connection cable connected to said coil electronics for supplying power to said coil electronics, said connection cable being integrated with said fastening strap.

2. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1 comprising a latch connection that connects said fastening strap to said board.

3. An arrangement as claimed in claim 2 wherein said latch connection comprises electrical contacts integrated therein.

4. An arrangement as claimed in claim 3 wherein said contacts are galvanic contacts.

5. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connection cable integrated with said fastening strap is connected with said RF coil via an electrical connection selected from the group consisting of a galvanic connection, inductive coupling elements and capacitive coupling elements.

6. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said connection cable or said fastening strap comprises a signal coupler integrated therewith for transferring electrical signals between the RF coil and the connection cable.

7. An arrangement as claimed in claim 6 wherein said integrated signal coupler is a signal coupler selected from the group consisting of capacitive couplers and inductive couplers.

8. An arrangement as claimed in claim 7 wherein said RF coil has a housing comprising a coupler counterpart connected to the signal coupler to transfer signals between the RF coil and the signal coupler.

9. An arrangement as claimed in claim 8 comprising a fastening strap guide, and wherein said coupler counterpart is located below said fastening strap guide and is pressed by the fastening strap onto the signal coupler.

10. An arrangement as claimed in claim 1 wherein said RF coil is configured as a local coil.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention concerns an arrangement to affix an RF coil, in particular a local coil, on a patient for an examination with a magnetic resonance apparatus.

2. Description of the Prior Art

In a magnetic resonance examination, RF coils (in particular local coils) required to examine a patient are fastened on his body with the aid of straps or belts. Coils known as “under-coils” are placed on the horizontal board and have a rigid housing that is fashioned to accommodate the patient's weight. Coils known as “over-coils” are placed on the patient and are affixed on the body of the patient and on the horizontal board with the aid of fastening straps.

FIG. 2 shows such a magnetic resonance examination. A local coil LS is fastened or, affixed on the body of a patient P with the aid of a fastening strap BG. The local coil LS or its coil electronics module is electrically supplied via a relatively thick connection cable AK.

The connection cable AK is difficult to handle in combination with the local coil LS due to a (generally) large connection plug AS and interferes both during the examination and during the examination preparation.

Due to the necessity of connecting and disconnecting the connection plug AS before and after the examination, problems can occur in the reliability of the electrical connection via the connection plug AS.

In addition to the actual power supply of the coil electronics, the signal transfer from or to the local coil conductor also occurs via the connection cable AK.

At present concepts are under discussion to achieve the signal transmission wirelessly or with the use of optical fibers. Even with these concepts, however, it is still necessary to ensure the power supply to the coil electronics.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an arrangement to affix RF coils of a general type (but in particular local coils) on a patient in examinations with a magnetic resonance apparatus, which arrangement is improved with regard to handling.

This object is achieved in accordance with the invention by arrangement to affix RF coils on a patient in examinations with a magnetic resonance apparatus, wherein a horizontal board is used that serves to accommodate the patient for a magnetic resonance examination to be implemented.

Furthermore, at least one RF coil for the magnetic resonance examination is provided, the coil having coil electronics. The coil is affixed on the patient with the use of a fastening strap.

A connection or supply cable is an integrated part of the fastening strap via which the coil electronics are supplied with energy.

The necessity of the conventional, separate direction of the connection cable is foregone by the inventive combination of the fastening strap with the connection cable, such that the handling of the local coil with the connected supply or connection cable is made easier.

This is particularly advantageous in the use of multi-coil combinations given known as “body array” coils, and in the use of coils for angiography in the leg region, which are known as PAA coils.

In a preferred embodiment, fastening straps that can be fastened laterally at the horizontal board with a latching function (comparable to locking a seat belt in a vehicle) are used in the inventive arrangement.

Given the use of such fastening straps, electrical contracts are integrated within the mechanically designed latch connection.

Galvanically designed contacts can be used, or the electrical supply of the coils can ensue via inductive or capacitive coupling, comparable to charging devices that charge the batteries of an electrically operated toothbrush via coupling.

In another embodiment, the fastening strap contains capacitively or inductively designed signal couplers via which acquisition signals of the coils or local coils can be extracted. In this case a coupler counterpart is arranged on the top side of a coil housing, preferably below a fastening strap guide.

Due to low electrical requirements for the power supply, if such signals couplers are used it is possible to execute the connection plugs very simply. The operation of the connections is therefore further simplified.

In a preferred embodiment, the integrated connection cable is additionally used for data or measurement signal transfer of acquisition signals of the coils or local coils.

In a preferred development, data signals (that can be selected via filters in the individual coil housings) are then superimposed on the supply current.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIGS. 1A and 1B show an embodiment of the incentive arrangement for use in a magnetic resonance examination.

FIG. 2 illustrates the prior art described in the introduction in a magnetic resonance examination.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1A shows the inventive arrangement for use in a magnetic resonance examination of a patient P.

A local coil LS1 is fastened or affixed on the body of the patient P with the aid of a fastening strap BG1. The local coil LS1 or its coil electronics is electrically supplied via a connection cable AK1.

The connection cable AK1 is an integrated part of the fastening strap BG1 or is connected with the fastening strap BG1 for guidance.

For example, it can be arranged within a fastening strap (not shown here) designed with a tube shape or, as shown here, it is connected with the fastening strap with the aid of loops that are components of the fastening strap BG1. Both the fastening strap BG1 and the connection cable AK1 are thus directed together.

The electrical supply of the local coil LS1 (more precisely of its coil electronic) here ensues via galvanically designed contacts with the use of a connection plug AS1.

FIG. 1B shows further details of the invention with reference to FIG. 1A.

The fastening strap BG1 is laterally fastened on a horizontal board LB1 with a latch connection RV1 that has a latching function comparable to the catch of a safety belt in a vehicle.

The mechanically designed latch connection RV1 moreover has additional electrical contacts K1 (not shown in detail here) via which the power supply of the connection cable AK1 can ensue via the horizontal board LB1.

The electrical supply of the local coil LS1 here ensues via galvanically designed contacts with the use of the connection plug AS1.

As an alternative, the power supply of the coil electronics of the local coil LS1 can also ensue using inductive or capacitive couplers (not shown here in detail). These couplers are designed comparable to charging devices that charge batteries of an electrically operated toothbrush via coupling.

In a further embodiment, the fastening strap BG1 additionally contains an integrated signal coupler KS1 that is capacitively or inductively designed.

Acquisition signals of the local coil LS1 are injected from the local coil LS1 into the connection cable AK1 via this signal coupler KS1.

A coupler counterpart (covered by the signal coupler KS1 and therefore not shown in detail) is arranged on the top side of a coil housing.

The coupler counterpart is preferably arranged below a fastening strap guide such that the coupler counterpart is mechanically pressed onto the signal coupler KS1 by the fastening strap BG1.

The transfer of the acquisition signals of the local coil LS1 to the signal coupler KS1 of the fastening strap BG1 ensues via this coupler counterpart.

Although modifications and changes may be suggested by those skilled in the art, it is the intention of the inventors to embody within the patent warranted hereon all changes and modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of their contribution to the art.