Routine clinical brain MRI sequences for use at 3.0 tesla

Hanzhang Lu, Lidia M. Nagae-Poetscher, Xavier Golay, Doris Lin, Martin Pomper, Peter C.M. Van Zijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


Purpose: To establish image parameters for some routine clinical brain MRI pulse sequences at 3.0 T with the goal of maintaining, as much as possible, the well-characterized 1.5-T image contrast characteristics for daily clinical diagnosis, while benefiting from the increased signal to noise at higher field. Materials and Methods: A total of 10 healthy subjects were scanned on 1.5-T and 3.0-T systems for T1 and T2 relaxation time measurements of major gray and white matter structures. The relaxation times were subsequently used to determine 3.0-T acquisition parameters for spin-echo (SE), T1-weighted, fast spin echo (FSE) or turbo spin echo (TSE), T 2-weighted, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) pulse sequences that give image characteristics comparable to 1.5 T, to facilitate routine clinical diagnostics. Application of the routine clinical sequences was performed in 10 subjects, five normal subjects and five patients with various pathologies. Results: T1 and T2 relaxation times were, respectively, 14% to 30% longer and 12% to 19% shorter at 3.0 T when compared to the values at 1.5 T, depending on the region evaluated. When using appropriate parameters, routine clinical images acquired at 3.0 T showed similar image characteristics to those obtained at 1.5 T, but with higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR), which can be used to reduce the number of averages and scan times. Recommended imaging parameters for these sequences are provided. Conclusion: When parameters are adjusted for changes in relaxation rates, routine clinical scans at 3.0 T can provide similar image appearance as 1.5 T, but with superior image quality and/or increased speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Brain
  • Clinical MRI
  • High field
  • T1
  • T2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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