Introduction of Ultra-High-Field MR Imaging in Infants: Preparations and Feasibility

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2020 Aug;41(8):1532-1537. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A6702. Epub 2020 Jul 30.


Background and purpose: Cerebral MR imaging in infants is usually performed with a field strength of up to 3T. In adults, a growing number of studies have shown added diagnostic value of 7T MR imaging. 7T MR imaging might be of additional value in infants with unexplained seizures, for example. The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of 7T MR imaging in infants. We provide information about the safety preparations and show the first MR images of infants at 7T.

Materials and methods: Specific absorption rate levels during 7T were simulated in Sim4life using infant and adult models. A newly developed acoustic hood was used to guarantee hearing protection. Acoustic noise damping of this hood was measured and compared with the 3T Nordell hood and no hood. In this prospective pilot study, clinically stable infants, between term-equivalent age and the corrected age of 3 months, underwent 7T MR imaging immediately after their standard 3T MR imaging. The 7T scan protocols were developed and optimized while scanning this cohort.

Results: Global and peak specific absorption rate levels in the infant model in the centered position and 50-mm feet direction did not exceed the levels in the adult model. Hearing protection was guaranteed with the new hood. Twelve infants were scanned. No MR imaging-related adverse events occurred. It was feasible to obtain good-quality imaging at 7T for MRA, MRV, SWI, single-shot T2WI, and MR spectroscopy. T1WI had lower quality at 7T.

Conclusions: 7T MR imaging is feasible in infants, and good-quality scans could be obtained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant*
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies