Purpose: To demonstrate and evaluate the scan time and quantitative accuracy of simultaneous bilateral-knee imaging compared with single-knee acquisitions.
Methods: Hardware modifications and safety testing was performed to enable MR imaging with two 16-channel flexible coil arrays. Noise covariance and sensitivity-encoding g-factor maps for the dual-coil-array configuration were computed to evaluate coil cross-talk and noise amplification. Ten healthy volunteers were imaged on a 3T MRI scanner with both dual-coil-array bilateral-knee and single-coil-array single-knee configurations. Two experienced musculoskeletal radiologists compared the relative image quality between blinded image pairs acquired with each configuration. Differences in T2 relaxation time measurements between dual-coil-array and single-coil-array acquisitions were compared with the standard repeatability of single-coil-array measurements using a Bland-Altman analysis.
Results: The mean g-factors for the dual-coil-array configuration were low for accelerations up to 6 in the right-left direction, and minimal cross-talk was observed between the two coil arrays. Image quality ratings of various joint tissues showed no difference in 89% (95% confidence interval: 85-93%) of rated image pairs, with only small differences ("slightly better" or "slightly worse") in image quality observed. The T2 relaxation time measurements between the dual-coil-array configuration and the single-coil configuration showed similar limits of agreement and concordance correlation coefficients (limits of agreement: -0.93 to 1.99 ms; CCC: 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.96-0.98)), to the repeatability of single-coil-array measurements (limits of agreement: -2.07 to 1.96 ms; CCC: 0.97 (95% confidence interval: 0.95-0.98)).
Conclusion: A bilateral coil-array setup can image both knees simultaneously in similar scan times as conventional unilateral knee scans, with comparable image quality and quantitative accuracy. This has the potential to improve the value of MRI knee evaluations.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Knee MRI, Osteoarthritis, Parallel imaging, T2 mapping
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/mrm.27045, hdl.handle.net/1765/103564
Journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
Citation
Kogan, F, Levine, E. (Evan), Chaudhari, A.S. (Akshay S.), Monu, U.D. (Uchechukwuka D.), Epperson, K. (Kevin), Oei, E.H.G, … Hargreaves, B.A. (Brian A.). (2017). Simultaneous bilateral-knee MR imaging. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. doi:10.1002/mrm.27045