This paper gives an overview of the recent literature on methodological developments of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and recent trends in clinical applications. With the recent introduction of high-field systems and methodological developments leading to more robust signal behavior, fMRI is in a transition state from a research modality for use by experts to a standard procedure with useful applications in patient management. Compared to the use in neuroscientific research, which is often based on BOLD techniques alone, the application in patients is distinguished by a multiparametric characterization of the brain using a combination of several techniques. Neuronal fiber tracking based on diffusion anisotropy measurements, in particular, has already turned out to provide relevant supplementary information to the BOLD-based cortical activation maps.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.