Purpose: To evaluate the 7 Tesla (T) MRI of the carotid arteries, as quantitatively compared with 3T.
Materials and methods: The 7T MRI of the carotid arteries was performed in six healthy subjects and in two patients with carotid stenosis. The healthy group was scanned at 3T and at 7T, using current coil setups at both field strengths. T1 and T2 values of the normal carotid vessel wall were assessed at both field strengths. B1 (+) maps and signal to noise ratio (SNR) maps were obtained, as well as T1 weighted images with a resolution as high as 0.4 × 0.4 × 1.5 mm(3) .
Results: The T1 of the normal carotid vessel wall was found to be 1227 ± 47 ms at 3T and 1628 ± 130 ms at 7T, while a T2 of 55 ± 11 ms at 3T and 46 ± 4 ms at 7T was found. A twofold average gain in SNR at the carotid arteries was found with 7T. T1 weighted images showed an increased SNR at 7T for all subjects.
Conclusion: Evaluation between 3T and 7T carotid MRI with optimized setups at both field strengths showed improved SNR at 7T, an increase in vessel wall T1 and a decrease in vessel wall T2.
Keywords: 7T; carotid; high field MRI.
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.