Breast MRI at 7 Tesla with a bilateral coil and T1-weighted acquisition with robust fat suppression: image evaluation and comparison with 3 Tesla
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To evaluate the image quality of T1-weighted fat-suppressed breast MRI at 7 T and to compare 7-T and 3-T images.
Seventeen subjects were imaged using a 7-T bilateral transmit-receive coil and 3D gradient echo sequence with adiabatic inversion-based fat suppression (FS). Images were graded on a five-point scale and quantitatively assessed through signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), fibroglandular/fat contrast and signal uniformity measurements.
Image scores at 7 and 3 T were similar on standard-resolution images (1.1 × 1.1 × 1.1-1.6 mm3), indicating that high-quality breast imaging with clinical parameters can be performed at 7 T. The 7-T SNR advantage was underscored on 0.6-mm isotropic images, where image quality was significantly greater than at 3 T (4.2 versus 3.1, P ≤ 0.0001). Fibroglandular/fat contrast was more than two times higher at 7 T than at 3 T, owing to effective adiabatic inversion-based FS and the inherent 7-T signal advantage. Signal uniformity was comparable at 7 and 3 T (P < 0.05). Similar 7-T image quality was observed in all subjects, indicating robustness against anatomical variation.
The 7-T bilateral transmit-receive coil and adiabatic inversion-based FS technique produce image quality that is as good as or better than at 3 T.
• High image quality bilateral breast MRI is achievable with clinical parameters at 7 T.
• 7-T high-resolution imaging improves delineation of subtle soft tissue structures.
• Adiabatic-based fat suppression provides excellent fibroglandular/fat contrast at 7 T.
• 7- and 3-T 3D T1-weighted gradient-echo images have similar signal uniformity.
• The 7-T dual solenoid coil enables bilateral imaging without compromising uniformity.
KeywordsHigh-field MRI Fat suppression Breast cancer Bilateral breast imaging RF coil array
This work was funded in part by NIH grant R01 EB002568. The authors thank Sandy Tang and Lisa Piccoli for subject recruitment. Christian Geppert is an employee of Siemens.
Data in the current manuscript were presented in part in Brown et al., "Breast MRI at 7 Tesla with a Bilateral Coil and Robust Fat Suppression," in the Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (accepted for publication, 2013).
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