7T Translational Alliance in North America 7T TANA
7T MRI is a non-invasive imaging device that uses ultra-high magnetic field of 7 Tesla to scan the human body. 7T MRI does not expose patients to ionizing radiation (like X-ray), and some 7T MRI systems have been cleared by the FDA for clinical use.
A crucial benefit of 7T MRI is the high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and high sensitivity that allow doctors and researchers to see intricate anatomical details - often with sub-millimeter resolution - and to measure various functions of the human body. 7T MRI makes many new features visible to doctors that would otherwise not be visible at a standard field strength of 1.5 and 3T.
To date, clinical benefits of 7T MRI have been shown in a range of neurologic disorders including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), planning for deep brain stimulation (DBS), cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD), as well as musculoskeletal (MSK) imaging. See For Providers below for more details.
7T MRI is a non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging technique, which uses a strong magnetic field of 7 Tesla to image human anatomies. Compared to clinical MRI at 1.5 and 3T, 7T MRI enables the imaging of the human body and tissues with very high resolution (sub-millimeter). Many imaging technologies have been developed and optimized for 7T MRI. Some imaging protocols can generate the paths of nerves, while others can detect functional brain maps. Some images can depict angiograms for vascular imaging, iron deposition, and metabolic activities can also be quantified. 7T MRI has been shown to detect subtle abnormalities related to several neurological diseases (epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, cerebral small vessel disease, and more), and can guide the placement of deep brain stimulation.
Is it safe? The radio frequency of a 7T MRI system (about 300 MHz) is much lower than that of Wi-Fi and cell phones. It does not cause any ionizing radiation (like X-ray). The FDA has cleared some 7T MRI systems for clinical use. However, since it is a very powerful magnet, patients and volunteers with implants in their bodies may not be eligible for scans. The main risk of 7T MRI is the heating due to radio frequency (RF) pulses which need to be closely monitored. The subject may feel dizzy when moving in and out of the magnet, and the space is more confined compared to standard clinical MRI at 1.5 and 3T. Although there is no evidence of harm, people who are or may be pregnant should not undergo 7T MRI. Trained personnel should perform the final risk evaluation of a subject at the imaging site. Also, people weighing less than 30kg/66 lbs should not have 7T scans.
The frequency of having a 7T MRI depends on you and your healthcare provider. 7T MRI is not a treatment - it is a very powerful diagnostic tool. You can undergo 7T MRI as often as your provider requests and you feel comfortable. Since there is no ionizing radiation hazard, there is no limitation to the number of visits or duration of each visit. However, if you are or may be pregnant, you should not undergo 7T MRI.
Is 7T MRI covered by insurance? Please consult with your healthcare provider and insurance company regarding insurance coverage. Some but not all 7T MRI exams are covered by insurance.
Where to get a 7T MRI? To find a 7T MRI location, you may use our search tool here.
To date, clinical benefits of 7T MRI have been shown in a range of neurologic disorders including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), planning for deep brain stimulation (DBS), cerebral small vessel disease (cSVD), as well as musculoskeletal (MSK) imaging.
New clinical benefits of 7T MRI are continuously being discovered. Sample 7T MRI images from literature are shown below.
The 7T TANA will facilitate the standardization of imaging protocols, sharing of data and expertise, and the formation of multi-site trials for the discovery and evaluation of clinical values using 7T MRI.
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