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Potential Clinical Applications of 7 Tesla

Kolloquium der Abteilung 8

In the past three decades, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a vital tool for clinical diagnosis and research. An ongoing trend is the introduction of research magnets with much more powerful static magnetic fields, including magnets at 7T and higher. Advantages of higher magnetic fields include higher signal-to-noise ratios that enable improved spatial and temporal resolution, and new, unique tissue contrasts including enhanced sensitivity to tissue susceptibility differences. It now seems plausible that 7T will be introduced as the next clinical alternative beyond 3T, and one major vendor has announced plans to pursue approval as a medical device. Nevertheless, the exact role of 7T in the clinic remains to be determined. Many technical challenges remain, including interference and penetration effects affecting the excitation RF field that make it difficult to image large cross-sections in the body.
The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate the state-of-the-art of clinically oriented 7T imaging and point out recent progress that could expand the applicability of 7T to organs beyond the brain and joints.