Clinical MRI 7T

This activity co-funded by CSIRO, UQ, CRC for Mental Health, and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) is investigating ultra high field technologies at Magnetom 7T Scanners from Siemens Medical for the diagnosis of several important diseases: musculoskeletal disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder, and fronto-temporal dementia.

Two MRI 7T scanners are available in Australia. One at the Centre for Advanced Imaging (University of Queensland, Brisbane) under the leadership of A/Prof Markus Barth, and the other at the Florey Neuroscience Institute (University of Melbourne), under the leadership of Prof Roger Ordidge. Both systems allow unprecedented resolution with high signal to noise ratio.

In collaboration we the Australian 7T teams and Siemens, we are interested in several techniques:

Very high resolution of brain anatomy using double inversion recovery type sequences such as MP2RAGE which offers in vivo resolution down to 0.75 mm isotropic

MP2RAGE

Brian morphology at 7T. MP2RAGE sequence shows high contrast and high SNR (left coronal and right sagittal views).

Very high resolution imaging of the hippocampus, a brain structure associated with memory involved in many neurodegenerative diseases, provides insights into the pathology mechanism and offer specific ways to identify diseases.

Hip_subfields

MRI 7T very high resolution of the hippocampus structure (left) and denoised with a non local means filter (right)

Iron imaging benefits greatly from ultra high field, and several techniques are investigated to quantify iron deposition in the brain for mental health disorders using susceptibility imaging and quantitative susceptibility maps.

Phase-and-QSM

Iron imaging by MRI. Various images obtained by post-processing gradient echoes images.

The high resolution possible by MRI 7T is also of great interest to characterise musculoskeletal features such as knee cartilage or muscles. We are interested to use ultra high field imaging to diagnose and understand issues associated with osteoarthritis, back pain, and sport injuries

Knee-7T

Knee joint imaged at 7T (left sagittal, right coronal views). Cartilage elements automatically segmented by our method are highlighted in colour.