Background: Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR) represents one of the most valuable modalities for the non-invasive diagnosis and characterization of cardiovascular diseases. CMR proton imaging is the state-of-the-art diagnostic tool for myocardial morphology and function evaluation. CMR Spectroscopy is a very powerful tool for exploration of tissue components and metabolism of the myocardium, through the use of nuclei including 1Hydrogen (1H), 31Phosphorus (31P), 13Carbon (13C) and 23Sodium (23Na). CMR requires high imaging speed and efficiency, due to the time constraints imposed by cardiac and respiratory motion.
Discussion: The availability of dedicated Radio Frequency (RF) coils allows obtaining highly homogeneous field in a wide field of view for transmitter coils and high signal-to-noise ratio for receiver coils. Phased-array coils also make possible parallel imaging, a powerful mean for increasing acquisition speed.
Conclusion: The aim of this review is to introduce a classification of cardiac coils, with a particular emphasis on phased-array coils largely used in CMR, and to describe cardiac coils dedicated to CMR spectroscopy. Finally, different strategies for simulation and design of cardiac coils are introduced and described.