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Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2006 May;16(2):269-83, x.

MR spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging: comparing 3.0 T versus 1.5 T.

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Institute for Biomedical Engineering, University and ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MR spectroscopy) offers the unique possibility to monitor human brain metabolism in a noninvasive way. At 3.0 T, MR spectroscopy not only profits from higher available signal compared with 1.5 T, but from increased chemical shift dispersion as well. These gains may be exchanged into increased spatial resolution or speed in MR spectroscopic imaging. However, some adverse effects related to the higher field strength, such as increased field inhomogeneities and sequence restrictions caused by safety limitations need to be considered. These require protocol adaptations and technical advances that have not yet fully found their way onto the clinical platform. If neglected, effects such as chemical shift misregistration at higher field strength can lead to wrong localizations or loss of signals of certain metabolites, which can intervene with the diagnostic value of a spectrum. This article tries to give an understanding of the potentials and challenges of MR spectroscopy at the higher field strength of 3.0 T, and to give insight into new techniques that hopefully soon will become available in daily clinical routine to fully exploit all benefits of the higher field strength.

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