Comparison of multiple sclerosis lesions at 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla

Invest Radiol. 2003 Jul;38(7):423-7. doi: 10.1097/01.RLI.0000065426.07178.f1.


Objective: To evaluate the relative sensitivity of MR scanning for multiple sclerosis (MS) at 1.5 Tesla (T) and 3.0 T using identical acquisition conditions, as is typical of multicenter clinical trials.

Methods: Twenty-five subjects with MS were scanned at 1.5 T and 3.0 T using fast spin echo, and T(1)-weighted SPGR with and without gadolinium contrast injections. Image data, blinded to field strength, were analyzed using automated segmentation and lesion counting.

Results: Relative to scanning at 1.5 T, the 3.0 T scans showed a 21% increase in the number of detected contrast enhancing lesions, a 30% increase in enhancing lesion volume and a 10% increase in total lesion volume.

Discussion: The improved detection ability using high-field MR imaging is prominent even when sequence parameters are optimized around the midfield units. Multicenter trials using both 1.5 T and 3.0 T instruments may be affected by these sensitivity differences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium