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MRI of the hip at 7T: Feasibility of bone microarchitecture, high-resolution cartilage, and clinical imaging




To demonstrate the feasibility of performing bone microarchitecture, high-resolution cartilage, and clinical imaging of the hip at 7T.

Materials and Methods

This study had Institutional Review Board approval. Using an 8-channel coil constructed in-house, we imaged the hips of 15 subjects on a 7T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. We applied: 1) a T1-weighted 3D fast low angle shot (3D FLASH) sequence (0.23 × 0.23 × 1–1.5 mm3) for bone microarchitecture imaging; 2) T1-weighted 3D FLASH (water excitation) and volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination (VIBE) sequences (0.23 × 0.23 × 1.5 mm3) with saturation or inversion recovery-based fat suppression for cartilage imaging; 3) 2D intermediate-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) sequences without and with fat saturation (0.27 × 0.27 × 2 mm) for clinical imaging.


Bone microarchitecture images allowed visualization of individual trabeculae within the proximal femur. Cartilage was well visualized and fat was well suppressed on FLASH and VIBE sequences. FSE sequences allowed visualization of cartilage, the labrum (including cartilage and labral pathology), joint capsule, and tendons.


This is the first study to demonstrate the feasibility of performing a clinically comprehensive hip MRI protocol at 7T, including high-resolution imaging of bone microarchitecture and cartilage, as well as clinical imaging. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2014;39:1384–1393. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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