Clear standards are lacking in the imaging modalities of the deficit in mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) patients. The
purpose of this study is to compare the image quality by signal distribution between 1.5 Tesla and 3 Tesla MRI in turbo
spin echo (TSE) and gradient echo (GRE) images in normal hospital settings and to find preferences for which field to
use in MTBI patients.
We studied 40 MTBI patients with TSE and GRE; 20 patients were imaged at 1.5 T and 20 at 3 T. The imaging
parameters were optimized separately for the two scanners. Histograms of the signal distribution in 22 ROIs were fitted
to a 1-peak Gaussian model and the resulting peak positions were scaled in respect to the peak positions of genu of the
corpus callosum and the caudate nuclei.
Correlation of the contrast of the ROIs in reference to genu of the corpus callosum between both the two scanners and
the two imaging sequences was good. Image contrast was similar at both in the TSE images; in the GRE images contrast
improved from 1.5 T to 3 T. However, based on peak positions and widths, a slight drawback in the separability between
the ROIs was observed when 1.5 T MRI was replaced by 3 T. No clear improvement in tissue contrast or separability of 3 T was found compared to 1.5 T. Imaging of MTBI with 3 T
should therefore be based on other advantages of high-field imaging, such as improved SNR and spatial resolution.