Most magnetic resonance imaging scanners are superconducting magnets operating at 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 Tesla. A surface coil, either a phased array body or pelvis coil, which wraps around the patient is ideal for pelvic imaging. The phased array coil receives the signal from the patient and has a number of individual surface coil elements (arranged above and below the patient) that feed into separate receivers. The information from all of the surface coils is combined together to form the final image. The advantages of phased array coils are (i) a high signal-to-noise ratio associated with small diameter component surface coils, and (ii) a relatively large field of view (FOV) is achieved. For example,the maximum FOV for phased array body/pelvic coils is 30-35cm, and some systems enable additional elements to be attached to the phased array coil so that the FOV can be increased to 50cm. This compares well with the FOV for body coils which are usually in the region of 50cm. See Figures 2.1a and b.
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