High Magnetic Fields for Imaging Cerebral Morphology, Function, and Biochemistry

  • Kâmil Uğurbil
  • Gregor Adriany
  • Can Akgün
  • Peter Andersen
  • Wei Chen
  • Michael Garwood
  • Rolf Gruetter
  • Pierre-Gilles Henry
  • Malgorzata Marjanska
  • Steen Moeller
  • Pierre-François Van de Moortele
  • Klaas Prüssmann
  • Ivan Tkac
  • J. Thomas Vaughan
  • Florian Wiesinger
  • Essa Yacoub
  • Xiao-Hong Zhu
Part of the Biological Magnetic Resonance book series (BIMR, volume 26)


In the last two decades, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments operating at a magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla have emerged as the most commonly employed high-end platform for clinical diagnosis. Despite the dominant position enjoyed by this field strength, even its promotion as the “optimum” field to work for human applications, the late 1980s witnessed the beginnings of an interest in substantially higher magnetic fields. After brief and cursory explorations, however, high field strengths were virtually abandoned by industry leaders while their efforts were focused on further refinements of the 1.5T or even lower field platforms. Nevertheless, a handful of 3 and 4-Tesla instruments were established in academic research laboratories by about 1990. Since these early beginnings, work conducted in these academic sites has demonstrated that magnetic fields substantially beyond 1.5 Tesla provide numerous advantages in aspects of magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRS) applications in humans, even though such high fields also pose serious challenges. In considering these accomplishments, however, it is imperative to recognize that, to date, virtually all of the research at high magnetic fields, especially at field strengths greater than 3 Tesla, has been carried out only in a few laboratories and using instruments that are definitely far less than optimized; as such, the amount of man-hours and talent dedicated to this effort has been minuscule compared to the clinical uses of MR and, even then, this effort has been hampered by suboptimal instrumentation. Therefore, any positive conclusions obtained thus far, and there are many, can only be interpreted as harbingers of potential gains and definitely not as what can be ultimately achieved.


Human Head High Magnetic Field Blood Oxygen Level Dependent Blood Oxygen Level Dependent Signal Gradient Echo 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kâmil Uğurbil
    • 1
  • Gregor Adriany
    • 1
  • Can Akgün
    • 1
  • Peter Andersen
    • 1
  • Wei Chen
    • 1
  • Michael Garwood
    • 1
  • Rolf Gruetter
    • 2
  • Pierre-Gilles Henry
    • 1
  • Malgorzata Marjanska
    • 1
  • Steen Moeller
    • 1
  • Pierre-François Van de Moortele
    • 1
  • Klaas Prüssmann
    • 3
  • Ivan Tkac
    • 1
  • J. Thomas Vaughan
    • 1
  • Florian Wiesinger
    • 1
  • Essa Yacoub
    • 1
  • Xiao-Hong Zhu
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Magnetic Resonance ResearchUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.EPFL SB IPMC LIFMETLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Institute for Biomedical EngineeringZurichSwitzerland

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