Objective: To study patient tolerability of brain imaging that employs an ultrahigh field (7 T) MR system
Methods: We examined 180 subjects that underwent brain MR examination at 7 T. A tolerability test consisting of two parts (during patient table motion and during the examination) was administered to all subjects in order to monitor their discomfort. The scores range from 0 to 5 for the first part, and from 0 to 10 for the second part, the total score of each subject therefore ranging from 0 (no side effects reported) to 15 (lowest tolerability)
Results: A total of 51% of subjects reported at least one side effect but all were mild in intensity and did not require examination interruption. No serious adverse event was reported. The total score (mean ± standard deviation) was 1.1 ± 1.5 out of 15 (mean score 0.4 ± 0.7 out of 5 during patient table motion and 0.7 ± 1.1 out of 10 during MR). Patient discomfort was not related to gender or health status, but it was reduced with time after system installation with increasing operator experience in performing UHF MR examinations.
Conclusions: Ultrahigh field MRI is well tolerated without excessive discomfort to subjects.
Key points: • 7-T MRI is well tolerated with low incidence of side effects • The subjects' discomfort during 7-T MRI is reduced as the operators' experience increases • 7-T MRI is practicable in healthy subjects and patients with neurodegenerative diseases.