Imaging at higher magnetic fields: 3 T versus 1.5 T.
Clinical hepatobiliary magnetic resonance (MR) imaging continues to evolve at a fast rate. However, three basic requirements must still be satisfied if novel high-field MR imaging techniques are to be included in the hepatobiliary imaging routine: improvement of parenchymal contrast, suppression of respiratory motion artifact, and anatomic coverage of the entire hepatobiliary system. This article outlines the various arenas involved in MR imaging of the hepatobiliary system at 3 Tesla (T) compared with 1.5 T by (1) highlighting magnetic field-dependent MR contrast phenomena that contribute to the overall appearance of high-field hepatobiliary imaging; (2) summarizing the biodistributions of different gadolinium chelates used as MR contrast agents and their effectiveness regarding the static magnetic field; (3) showing the implementation of advanced imaging techniques such as three-dimensional acquisition schemes and parallel acceleration techniques used in T1-, T2-, and diffusion-weighted hepatobiliary imaging; and (4) addressing artifact mechanisms exacerbated by, or originating from, increase of the static magnetic field.
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