Chinese Medical Sciences Journal ›› 2017, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (4): 226-231.doi: 10.24920/J1001-9294.2017.031

• Original Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Surface-Based Morphometry of Human Brain: Intra-Individual Comparison Between 3T and 7T High Resolution Structural MR Imaging

Chen Zhiye1, 2, Liu Mengqi1, 2, Ma Lin2, *()   

  1. 1Department of Radiology, Hainan Branch of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Sanya 572013, China
    2Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
  • Received:2016-10-05 Published:2017-12-30 Online:2017-12-30
  • Contact: Ma Lin
This study compared the reliability of 3T and 7T MRI system on depicting characteristics of cortical structures of normal brains. The results confirmed that inconsistency of brain structural attribute existed between 3T and 7T, which raised cautiousness for researchers who investigate brain structural changes using ultrahigh field MR system.


High resolution structural MR imaging can reveal structural characteristics of cerebral cortex and provide an insight into normal brain development and neuropsychological diseases. The aim of this study was to compare cortical structural characteristics of normal human brain between 3T and 7T MRI systems using surface-based morphometry based on high resolution structural MR imaging.


Twelve healthy volunteers were scanned by both 3T with 3D T1-weighted fast spoiled gradient recalled echo (3D T1-FSPGR) sequence and 7T with 3D T1-weighted magnetization-prepared rapid gradient echo (3D T1-MPRAGE) sequence. MRI data were processed with FreeSurfer. The cortical thickness, white and gray matter surface area, convexity, and curvature from data of 3T and 7T were measured and compared by paired t-test.


Measurements of mean cortical thickness, total white matter surface area and gray matter surface area of 3T were larger than those of 7T (left hemisphere: P=0.000, 0.006, 0.020 respectively; right hemisphere: P=0.000, 0.000, 0.000 respectively). Surface-based morphometry over the whole brain demonstrated both reduced and increased measurements of cortical thickness, white and gray surface area, convexity, and curvature at 7T compared to 3T.


Inconsistency of brain structural attribute between 3T and 7T was confirmed, and researchers should be cautious about data when using ultrahigh field MR system to investigate brain structural changes.

Key words: MRI, ultra high field, morphometry, brain, cortex

Copyright © 2021 Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.  京公安备110402430088  京ICP备06002729号-1  Powered by Magtech.

Supervised by National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China

9 Dongdan Santiao, Dongcheng district, Beijing, 100730 China

Tel: 86-10-65105897  Fax:86-10-65133074 


Copyright © 2018 Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

All right reserved.

京公安备110402430088  京ICP备06002729号-1