This work provides a systematic comparison of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), spatial resolution, acquisition time and metabolite limits-of-detection for magnetic resonance microscopy and spectroscopy at three different magnetic field strengths of 14.1 T, 17.6 T and 22.3 T (the highest currently available for imaging), utilizing commercially available hardware. We find an SNR increase of a factor 5.9 going from 14.1 T to 22.3 T using 5 mm radiofrequency (saddle and birdcage) coils, which results in a 24-fold acceleration in acquisition time and deviates from the theoretically expected increase of factor 2.2 due to differences in hardware. This underlines the importance of not only the magnetic field strengths but also hardware optimization. In addition, using a home-built 1.5 mm solenoid coil, we can achieve an isotropic resolution of (5.5 µm)3 over a field-of-view of 1.58 mm × 1.05 mm × 1.05 mm with an SNR of 12:1 using 44 signal averages in 58 h 34 min acquisition time at 22.3 T. In light of these results, we discuss future perspectives for ultra-high field Magnetic Resonance Microscopy and Spectroscopy.
- Limit of detection
- Magnetic resonance microscopy
- Signal-to-noise ratio
- Ultra-high field strength