Body MR imaging at 3.0 T: Understanding the opportunities and challenges

Mara M. Barth, Martin P. Smith, Ivan Pedrosa, Robert E. Lenkinski, Neil M. Rofsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The development of high-field-strength magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems has been driven in part by expected improvements in signal-to-noise ratio, contrast-to-noise ratio, spatial-temporal resolution trade-off, and spectral resolution. However, the transition from 1.5- to 3.0-T MR imaging is not straightforward. Compared with body imaging at lower field strength, body imaging at 3.0 T results in altered relaxation times, augmented and new artifacts, changes in chemical shift effects, and a dramatic increase in power deposition, all of which must be accounted for when developing imaging protocols. Inhomogeneities in the static magnetic field and the radiofrequency field at 3.0 T necessitate alterations in the design of coils and other hardware and new approaches to pulse sequence design. Techniques to reduce total body heating are demanded by the physics governing the specific absorption rate. Furthermore, the siting and maintenance of 3.0-T MR imaging systems are complicated by additional safety hazards unique to high-field-strength magnets. These aspects of 3.0-T body imaging represent current challenges and opportunities for radiology practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1462
Number of pages18
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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