Magnetic resonance imaging protocols for examination of the neurocranium at 3 T

Eur Radiol. 2003 Sep;13(9):2170-9. doi: 10.1007/s00330-003-1984-7. Epub 2003 Jul 5.


The increasing availability of high-field (3 T) MR scanners requires adapting and optimizing clinical imaging protocols to exploit the theoretically higher signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the higher field strength. Our aim was to establish reliable and stable protocols meeting the clinical demands for imaging the neurocranium at 3 T. Two hundred patients with a broad range of indications received an examination of the neurocranium with an appropriate assortment of imaging techniques at 3 T. Several imaging parameters were optimized. Keeping scan times comparable to those at 1.5 T we increased spatial resolution. Contrast-enhanced and non-enhanced T1-weighted imaging was best applying gradient-echo and inversion recovery (rather than spin-echo) techniques, respectively. For fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) imaging a TE of 120 ms yielded optimum contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). High-resolution isotropic 3D data sets were acquired within reasonable scan times. Some artifacts were pronounced, but generally imaging profited from the higher SNR. We present a set of optimized examination protocols for neuroimaging at 3 T, which proved to be reliable in a clinical routine setting.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Skull / pathology*