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Eur Radiol. 2006 Jun;16(6):1298-307. Epub 2006 Mar 16.

Muskuloskeletal MR imaging at 3.0 T: current status and future perspectives.

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Institute of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital, Rämistrasse 100, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.


Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has become an important diagnostic tool in evaluation of the musculoskeletal system. While most examinations are currently performed at magnetic field strengths of 1.5 T or lower, whole-body MR systems operating at 3.0 T have recently become available for clinical use. The higher field strengths promise various benefits, including increased signal-to-noise ratios, enhanced T2* contrast, increased chemical shift resolution, and most likely a better diagnostic performance in various applications. However, the changed T1, T2, and T2* relaxation times, the increased resonance-frequency differences caused by susceptibility and chemical-shift differences, and the increased absorption of radiofrequency (RF) energy by the tissues pose new challenges and/or offer new opportunities for imaging at 3.0 T compared to 1.5 T. Some of these issues have been successfully addressed only in the very recent past. This review discusses technical aspects of 3.0 T imaging as far as they have an impact on clinical routine. An overview of the current data is presented, with a focus on areas where 3.0 T promises equivalent or improved performance compared 1.5 T or lower field strengths.

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