Low Field MRI: A Review of the Literature and Our Experience in Upper Extremity Imaging

      Since its introduction to medical imaging in the early 1980s, MRI has become essential in diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. Most imaging in the United States is performed on high-field whole-body scanners (>1.0 T). Imaging on low (<0.5 T) and medium (0.5–1.0 T) field strengths using small, low-cost, easily installed scanners in physicians' offices or imaging centers has gained increasing popularity. These scanners can be useful in imaging the upper extremity from the shoulder to the fingers. In this review, we provide an overview of the different extremity scanners available and their advantages and disadvantages, a brief review of the literature regarding their use, and a discussion of our experience in using the low-field extremity scanners in evaluating the upper extremity.
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