Anatomical MR imaging of long bones : comparative performance of MRI at 1.5 T and 3 T

Rathnayaka, Kanchana, Momot, Konstantin I., Coulthard, Alan, Volp, Andrew, Sahama, Tony R., Schuetz, Michael, & Schmutz, Beat (2013) Anatomical MR imaging of long bones : comparative performance of MRI at 1.5 T and 3 T. Biomedical Spectroscopy and Imaging, 2(1), pp. 21-35.

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The current gold standard for the design of orthopaedic implants is 3D models of long bones obtained using computed tomography (CT). However, high-resolution CT imaging involves high radiation exposure, which limits its use in healthy human volunteers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an attractive alternative for the scanning of healthy human volunteers for research purposes. Current limitations of MRI include difficulties of tissue segmentation within joints and long scanning times.

In this work, we explore the possibility of overcoming these limitations through the use of MRI scanners operating at a higher field strength. We quantitatively compare the quality of anatomical MR images of long bones obtained at 1.5 T and 3 T and optimise the scanning protocol of 3 T MRI. FLASH images of the right leg of five human volunteers acquired at 1.5 T and 3 T were compared in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR). The comparison showed a relatively high CNR and SNR at 3 T for most regions of the femur and tibia, with the exception of the distal diaphyseal region of the femur and the mid diaphyseal region of the tibia. This was accompanied by an ~65% increase in the longitudinal spin relaxation time (T1) of the muscle at 3 T compared to 1.5 T. The results suggest that MRI at 3 T may be able to enhance the segmentability and potentially improve the accuracy of 3D anatomical models of long bones, compared to 1.5 T. We discuss how the total imaging times at 3 T can be kept short while maximising the CNR and SNR of the images obtained.

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ID Code: 57787
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Anatomical MRI , Long bones , Spin relaxation times , Signal-to-noise ratio, Contrast-to-noise ratio
DOI: 10.3233/BSI-120030
ISSN: 2212-8794
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Medical Devices (090304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomedical Engineering not elsewhere classified (090399)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 IOS Press and the authors
Deposited On: 05 Mar 2013 22:48
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2013 10:57

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