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A systematic review of the utility of 1.5 versus 3 Tesla magnetic resonance brain imaging in clinical practice and research

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2295-2303
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
Volume22
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Abstract

Objective
MRI at 3 T is said to be more accurate than 1.5 T MR, but costs and other practical differences mean that it is unclear which to use

Methods
We systematically reviewed studies comparing diagnostic accuracy at 3 T with 1.5 T. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and other sources from 1 January 2000 to 22 October 2010 for studies comparing diagnostic accuracyat 1.5 and 3 T in human neuroimaging. We extracted data on methodology, quality criteria, technical factors, subjects, signal-to-noise, diagnostic accuracy and errors according to QUADAS and STARD criteria.

Results
Amongst 150 studies (4,500 subjects), most were tiny, compared old 1.5 T with new 3 T technology, and only 22 (15 %) described diagnostic accuracy. The 3 T images were often described as “crisper”, but we found little evidence of improved diagnosis. Improvements were limited to research applications [functional MRI (fMRI), spectroscopy, automated lesion detection]. Theoretical doubling of the signal-to-noise ratio was not confirmed, mostly being 25 %. Artefacts were worse and acquisitions took slightly longer at 3 T.

Conclusion
Objective evidence to guide MRI purchasing decisions and routine diagnostic use is lacking. Rigorous evaluation accuracy and practicalities of diagnostic imaging technologies should be the routine, as for pharmacological interventions, to improve effectiveness of healthcare.

    Research areas

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neuroimaging, Reproducibility of Results, Humans, Diagnostic Imaging, Brain, Predictive Value of Tests, Research Design, Brain Mapping, Neoplasms, Multiple Sclerosis, Biomedical Research, Signal-To-Noise Ratio

ID: 7985910