Magnetic resonance imaging at 3.0 tesla detects more lesions in acute optic neuritis than at 1.5 tesla

Invest Radiol. 2006 Feb;41(2):76-82. doi: 10.1097/01.rli.0000188364.76251.28.


Objective: We sought to assess whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 3.0 T detects more brain lesions in acute optic neuritis (ON) than MRI at 1.5 T.

Materials and methods: Twenty-eight patients with acute ON were scanned at both field-strengths using fast-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR), proton density and T2-weighted turbo spin echo, and T1-weighted spin echo after contrast. In addition, magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient echo (MPRAGE) was obtained after contrast at 3.0 T. Lesion number and volumes were assessed by an observer blind to patient identity and field strength.

Results: Scans at 3.0 T showed a significantly increase in number of lesions detected on FLAIR images (P = 0.002) relative to scanning at 1.5 T. MPRAGE proved to be suitable for detecting enhancing lesions in ON.

Conclusion: The MRI protocol at 3.0 T was more sensitive to hyperintense brain lesions in ON than the standard MRI protocol at 1.5 T.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Optic Neuritis / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium