Comparison of image quality in magnetic resonance imaging of the knee at 1.5 and 3.0 Tesla using 32-channel receiver coils


  • F. Schoth
  • N. Kraemer
  • T. Niendorf
  • C. Hohl
  • R.W. Gunther
  • G.A. Krombach


  • European Radiology


  • Eur Radiol 18 (10): 2258-2264


  • We examined to what degree the visualization of anatomic structures in the human knee is improved using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and many element RF receive coils as compared to 1.5 T. We imaged 20 knees at 1.5 and 3.0 T using T2-weighted STIR, T2-weighted gradient echo, T1-weighted spin-echo, true-FISP and T2-weighted fast spin echo techniques in conjunction with 32-element RF coil arrays. The 3.0-T examination was considerably faster than its 1.5-T counterpart. A superior subjective visibility at 3.0 T vs 1.5 T was found in 27 of 50 evaluated structures (meniscus, ligaments) with the exception of true-FISP techniques. The 3.0-T examination provided a better visibility (evaluated by blinded consensus-reading by two radiologists) of small structures such as the ligamentum transversum genu. Also, cartilage was better delineated at 3.0 T. A 23% increased average signal-to-noise ratio as assessed using a temporal filter was observed at 3.0 T as compared to 1.5 T. At 3.0 T, imaging of the human knee is faster and results in a subjective visibility of anatomic structures that is superior to and competitive with 1.5 T.