OBJECTIVES: Acoustic noise in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) negatively impacts patients. We assessed a silent gradient coil switched at 20 kHz combined with a T1-weighted magnetisation prepared rapid gradient-echo (MPRAGE) sequence at 7 T.
METHODS: Five healthy subjects (21-29 years; three females) without previous 7-T MRI experience underwent both a quiet MPRAGE (Q-MPRAGE) and conventional MPRAGE (C-MPRAGE) sequence twice. Image quality was assessed quantitatively, and qualitatively by two neuroradiologists. Sound level was measured objectively and rated subjectively on a 0 to 10 scale by all subjects immediately following each sequence and after the whole examination (delayed). All subjects also reported comfort level, overall experience and willingness to undergo the sequence again.
RESULTS: Compared to C-MPRAGE, Q-MPRAGE showed higher signal-to-noise ratio (10%; p = 0.012) and lower contrast-to-noise ratio (20%; p < 0.001) as well as acceptable to good image quality. Q-MPRAGE produced 27 dB lower sound level (76 versus 103 dB). Subjects reported lower sound level for Q-MPRAGE both immediate (4.4 ± 1.4 versus 6.4 ± 1.3; p = 0.007) and delayed (4.6 ± 1.4 versus 6.3 ± 1.3; p = 0.005), while they rated comfort level (7.4 ± 1.0 versus 6.1 ± 1.7; p = 0.016) and overall experience (7.6 ± 1.0 versus 6.0 ± 0.9; p = 0.005) higher. Willingness to undergo the sequence again was also higher, however not significantly (8.1 ± 1.0 versus 7.2 ± 1.3; p = 0.066).
CONCLUSION: Q-MPRAGE using a silent gradient coil reduced sound level by 27 dB compared to C-MPRAGE at 7 T while featuring acceptable-to-good image quality and a quieter and more pleasant subject experience.
- Brain/diagnostic imaging
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio