7-T MR—from research to clinical applications?

Authors

  • Ewald Moser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    2. MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Freddy Stahlberg,

    1. Department of Medical Radiation Physics, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Lund University Bioimaging Centre (LBIC), Lund University, Lund, Sweden
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark E. Ladd,

    1. Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
    2. Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Neuroradiology, University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Siegfried Trattnig

    1. MR Centre of Excellence, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    Search for more papers by this author

E. Moser, MR Centre of Excellence, Lazarettgasse 14, A-1090, Vienna, Austria.

E-mail: Ewald.moser@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

Over 20 000 MR systems are currently installed worldwide and, although the majority operate at magnetic fields of 1.5 T and below (i.e. about 70%), experience with 3-T (in high-field clinical diagnostic imaging and research) and 7-T (research only) human MR scanners points to a future in functional and metabolic MR diagnostics. Complementary to previous studies, this review attempts to provide an overview of ultrahigh-field MR research with special emphasis on emerging clinical applications at 7 T. We provide a short summary of the technical development and the current status of installed MR systems. The advantages and challenges of ultrahigh-field MRI and MRS are discussed with special emphasis on radiofrequency inhomogeneity, relaxation times, signal-to-noise improvements, susceptibility effects, chemical shifts, specific absorption rate and other safety issues. In terms of applications, we focus on the topics most likely to gain significantly from 7-T MR, i.e. brain imaging and spectroscopy and musculoskeletal imaging, but also body imaging, which is particularly challenging. Examples are given to demonstrate the advantages of susceptibility-weighted imaging, time-of-flight MR angiography, high-resolution functional MRI, 1H and 31P MRSI in the human brain, sodium and functional imaging of cartilage and the first results (and artefacts) using an eight-channel body array, suggesting future areas of research that should be intensified in order to fully explore the potential of 7-T MR systems for use in clinical diagnosis. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary