Bone microarchitecture is an important contributor to its strength, and landmark high-resolution MRI studies have provided strong evidence that its deterioration may explain differences in individuals’ fracture risk.
We use a custom radio frequency coil array on a 7 Tesla MRI platform to acquire exquisite microarchitecture images in the proximal femur, which has been difficult because of the small size of the trabeculae (~20um) and their deep position in the body. Our images are then processed with finite element analysis tools to determine bone strength.
Breast MRI at 7 Tesla is driven by the promise of improved SNR, which is advantageous for morphologically-based lesion diagnosis but comes with technical challenges stemming from the non-uniform magnetic field.
We address 7 Tesla technical hurdles with a custom bilateral coil and SPAIR fat suppression to provide high-resolution images with excellent water/fat contrast. The SNR advantage provided by our bilateral coil at 7 Tesla allowed allowed visualization of dendritic patterns and ligaments in images with 0.6-mm isotropic resolution. The same structures are difficult to visualise in clinical magnets. In a small cohort, we found that our customize 7 Tesla protocol resulted in significantly higher image quality scores for high-resolution breast imaging compared with 3 T.
We showed that 7-Tesla shoulder MRI is feasible with a custom radio frequency array either in single-channel or parallel-transmit mode. Our hardware provided more than two-fold SNR advantage over the conventional system.
We were able to translate most of our 3-Tesla clinical shoulder protocols to 7-Tesla. The images provided clear delineation of both articular cartilage layers and the anterior and posterior labra. We can diagnose Injuries such as a labral tears, fluid in the shoulder joint, hypertrophy of the anterior labrum, subchondral cyst formation, and thin glenoid cartilage.