Surface/external phased array coils (torso or cardiac) and/or endorectal coil (ERC) can be used for the multiparametric MR Imaging of the prostate gland. The ERC is a wire coil that is inserted through a small plastic tube into the rectum to obtain high quality images of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles. The coil consists of a probe with an inflatable balloon, which helps to maintain the appropriate positioning.
The use of an endorectal coil is not necessary, however, an ERC can be beneficial in some specific situations:
• With older 1.5T MRI scanners, the use of an ERC is considered indispensable for achieving the type of high-resolution imaging needed for prostate mpMRI (figure).
• ERC can also be advantageous for larger patients where the SNR in the prostate may be compromised using the only surface phased array coils.
• When integrated with surface phased array coils, ERC increases the SNR in the prostate at any magnetic field strength. This can be valuable for inherently lower SNR sequences, such as DWI, MR Spectroscopy, and high temporal resolution DCE Perfusion.
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