Benefits of higher static magnetic fields in MR

Author(s): Professor Peter Jezzard, Jon Campbell

Hospital: University of Oxford

Reference: RAD Magazine, 46, 547,9-10


The most common magnetic field strength used in clinical practice is 1.5 tesla, although field strengths of 0.5T and 3.0T are also widely used. The main benefit of increasing the static field strength is an increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the resulting images, since this scales roughly linearly with field strength. Over the past two decades or so there has been a steady increase in the number of institutions that have installed a 7.0T scanner. These have mostly been in research institutions, although there is now a clinically-approved 7.0T system that can be purchased. Again, the main benefit of scanning at this field strength is to increase SNR, allowing higher resolution images, or shorter scan times. However, at this ‘ultra high field’ strength there are some significant challenges to scanning, both in terms of MRI physics and patient management. This article summarises some of the main opportunities and challenges of operating at 7.0T.

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