Ultimate intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio in MRI

Ogan Ocali, Ergin Atalar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A method to calculate the ultimate intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in a magnetic resonance experiment for a point inside an arbitrarily shaped object is presented. The ultimate intrinsic SNR is determined by body noise. A solution is obtained by optimizing the electromagnetic field to minimize total power deposition while maintaining a constant right-hand circularly polarized component of the magnetic filed at the point interest. A numerical approximation for the optimal field is found by assuming a superposition of a image number of plane waves. This simulation allowed estimation of the ultimate intrinsic SNR attainable in a human torso model. The performance of six coil configurations was evaluated by comparing the SNR of images obtained by the coils with the ultimate values. In addition, the behaviour of ultimate intrinsic SNR was investigated as a function of main field strength. It was found that the ultimate intrinsic SNR increases better than linearly with the main magnetic filed up to 10 T for our model. It was observed that for field strengths of 4 T or higher, focusing is required to reach the ultimate intrinsic SNR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-473
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


  • Focusing
  • RF coil design
  • Skin effect
  • SNR optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultimate intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio in MRI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this