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The potential value of ultrahigh field (UHF) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy to biomedical research and in clinical applications drives the development of technologies to overcome its many challenges. The increased difficulties of imaging the human torso compared with the head include its overall size, the dimensions and location of its anatomic targets, the increased prevalence and magnitude of physiologic effects, the limited availability of tailored RF coils, and the necessary transmit chain hardware. Tackling these issues involves addressing notoriously inhomogeneous transmit B1 (B1) fields, limitations in peak B1, larger spatial variations of the static magnetic field B0, and patient safety issues related to implants and local RF power deposition. However, as research institutions and vendors continue to innovate, the potential gains are beginning to be realized. Solutions overcoming the unique challenges associated with imaging the human torso are reviewed as are current studies capitalizing on the benefits of UHF in several anatomies and applications. As the field progresses, strategies associated with the RF system architecture, calibration methods, RF pulse optimization, and power monitoring need to be further integrated into the MRI systems making what are currently complex processes more streamlined. Meanwhile, the UHF MRI community must seize the opportunity to build upon what have been so far proof of principle and feasibility studies and begin to further explore the true impact in both research and the clinic.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Topics in magnetic resonance imaging : TMRI
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