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Magn Reson Med Sci. 2004 Apr 1;3(1):27-38.

Utilization of low-field MR scanners.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Radiology, University of Tokyo Hospital, 7-3-1 Hongo, Tokyo, Japan.


The evident advantage of high-field MR (magnetic resonance) scanners is their higher signal-to-noise ratio, which results in improved imaging. While no reliable efficacy studies exist that compare the diagnostic capabilities of low- versus high-field scanners, the adoption and acceptance of low-field MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is subject to biases. On the other hand, the cost savings associated with low-field MRI hardware are obvious. The running costs of a non-superconductive low-field scanner show even greater differences in favor of low-field scanners. Patient anxiety and safety issues also reflect the advantages of low-field scanners. Recent technological developments in the realm of low-field MR scanners will lead to higher image quality, shorter scan times, and refined imaging protocols. Interventional and intraoperative use also supports the installation of low-field MR scanners. Utilization of low-field systems has the potential to enhance overall cost reductions with little or no loss of diagnostic performance.

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