Feasibility of 7T MRI for imaging fascicular structures of peripheral nerves

Muscle Nerve. 2018 Mar;57(3):494-498. doi: 10.1002/mus.26035. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Introduction: Evaluation of the nerve fascicular structure can be useful in diagnosing nerve damage, but it is a very challenging task with 3T MRI because of limited resolution. In this pilot study, we present the feasibility of high-resolution 7T MRI for examining the nerve fascicular structure.

Methods: A 3-dimensional (3D) gradient-spoiled sequence was used for imaging peripheral nerves in extremities. Images acquired with different in-plane resolutions (0.42 × 0.42 mm vs. 0.12 × 0.12 mm), and different main field strengths (7T vs. 3T) were compared.

Results: The individual nerve fascicles were identified at 0.12 × 0.12 mm resolution in both field strengths but not at 0.42 × 0.42 mm resolution. The fascicular structure was more sharply depicted in 7T images than in 3T images.

Discussion: High-resolution 3D imaging with 7T MRI demonstrated feasibility for imaging nerve fascicular structures. Muscle Nerve 57: 494-498, 2018.

Keywords: 3D imaging; 7T MRI; fascicles; nerve injury; neurography; peripheral nerves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Peripheral Nerves / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tibial Nerve / diagnostic imaging*