• 7.0T MRI - Installed in 2005 at the Neuroscience Research Institute
Since 7.0T MRI is a research system which is not commercially available, it requires an additional magnetic shielding. The 7.0T magnetic field is shielded by an external steel structure of 500 tons of steel.
Among the many, the 7.0T MRI system provides a high SNR, proportional to the strength of the magnet, in comparison with the existing 1.5T and 3.0T MRI systems. Combined with the increase of the SNR by the increase in the strength of the main magnet, physics of NMR provides various both disadvantageous and advantageous characteristics of high field, such as the changing values of T1, T2, and T2* therefore, the corresponding images, characteristics of the properties. With an appropriate selection of the imaging parameters suitable for ultra high MR, on can obtain the images that were not obtainable using the old existing systems.
• Ultra-High Resolution Images - Brainstem Imaging in vivo
7.0T MRI provides exceptionally clearer and morphologically detailed images than the conventional 1.5T MRI. In other words, it provides the highest resolution images hitherto obtained by any other in vivo imaging devices. The picture above is of the human brainstem area, obtained using both 1.5T and 7.0T MRI for comparison. As seen, the 7.0T MRI image shows substantially better image details than 1.5T. 7.0T image shows distinct features of areas especially in the brain like the thalamus, midbrain, pons, and medulla.
Link to Hippocampus & Alzheimer’s Research
• Micro-Angiogram - Lenticulostriate Arteries (LSAs)
One of the notable advantages of 7.0T MRI is its ability to provide a superior angiogram, compared with low field MRI such as 1.5T and 3.0T. This high resolution imaging capability ensures the early diagnosis of stroke of both hemmoragic and ischemic by examining small vessels. Ultra high field provides suppression of the background signal because of the increased T1 value which leads to better contrast for the incoming new blood to the imaging slices than the tissue. The image on the left shows microvascular imaging of lenticulostriate arteries with 7.0T while on the right is with 1.5T. 7.0T MRI angiogram clearly shows the LSAs with clarity while it is undetectable in the 1.5T MRI image.
Link to Stroke & Microvascular Research
• Imaging Neurodegenerative Diseases - Parkinson's Disease in vivo
The ultra-high resolution of the 7.0T MRI allows direct observation of the neurodegenerative diseases such as the Parkinson's. At 7.0T, for the first time, we have observed the clear and unambiguous boundaries and surroundings of the substantia nigra (SN) in vivo.
Link to Parkinson's and Deep Brain Stimulation Research