Before welcoming your participant(s), it is necessary to prepare the entire environment for your study. First of all, this involves preparing the MRI room and the stimulation peripherals.
After having first checked that you yourself are fit to enter the MRI room (no medical contraindications AND free of all your metal objects), you can begin by installing and checking the antennas.
Choice and installation of the antennas
In the vast majority of neuroimaging examinations on humans, you must first make sure to install the antenna best suited to your research protocol.
- Most often, this is the 64-channel head coil . If it is not already inserted in the bed, this coil is stored on the cabinet to the left of the imager (in this case, the right-most antenna). In special cases (certain cohorts, large heads, …) the 20-channel coil is recommended instead. This one is arranged to the left of the 64-channel coil. These head coils are made up of two parts: a “rear” part which is connected to the bed (by sliding into the guides provided for this purpose) and a “front” part which is positioned on the face. You must be trained in the use and installation of these antennas.
- ATTENTION: Remember that the 64 channel coil is actually composed of TWO independent parts. The rear part of the antenna will plug in quite naturally when you position it. This is not the case for the front part which must be connected to the side connector after installing the participant. Otherwise, the quality of the images will be strongly degraded, especially in the frontal areas but could go unnoticed for a non-experienced viewer.
- It will also be necessary to install the spine coil antenna if your protocol requires it. In most cases, this antenna is replaced by a set of three cushions, which are more comfortable and easy to clean.
Participant health, safety and comfort
The MRI Centre provides a set of resources for the hygiene and comfort of the participant. Disposable protections designed to guarantee the hygiene of each session.
- Unroll the paper sheet on the bed cushions (or on the spinal column if it is to be used).
- Cut a last sheet from the roll to wrap the small head cushion.
- Prepare an MRI Marker (MR-spot: small yellow capsule)
- Prepare any foam or inflatable cushions necessary for the proper conduct of the protocol and/or the comfort of the subject.
- Check that the emergency bulb is connected to the red connector at the foot of the bed.
- Prepare the physiological sensors that you will need (pulse, breathing belt).
- Finally, and this is important, remember to prepare earplugs to protect the subject’s eardrums (depending on the choice of audio system).
If necessary, don’t hesitate to use the small non-magnetic rolling table to put down the various objects to be used, and this before setting up your participant.