Quantitative techniques for musculoskeletal MRI at 7 Tesla
Whole-body 7 Tesla MRI scanners have been approved solely for research since they appeared on the market over 10 years ago, but may soon be approved for selected clinical neurological and musculoskeletal applications in both the EU and the United States. There has been considerable research work on musculoskeletal applications at 7 Tesla over the past decade, including techniques for ultra-high resolution morphological imaging, 3D T2 and T2* mapping, ultra-short TE applications, diffusion tensor imaging of cartilage, and several techniques for assessing proteoglycan content in cartilage. Most of this work has been done in the knee or other extremities, due to technical difficulties associated with scanning areas such as the hip and torso at 7 Tesla. In this manuscript, we first provide some technical context for 7 Tesla imaging, including challenges and potential advantages. We then review the major quantitative MRI techniques being applied to musculoskeletal applications on 7 Tesla whole-body systems.