The human hippocampus plays a central role in various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), Alzheimer's dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and schizophrenia. Its volume, morphology, inner structure, and function are of scientific and clinical interest. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is a widely employed tool in neuroradiological workup regarding changes in brain anatomy, (sub-) volumes, and cerebral function including the hippocampus. Gain in intrinsic MR signal provided by higher field strength scanners and concomitant improvements in spatial resolution seem highly valuable. An examination protocol permitting complete, high-resolution imaging of the human hippocampus at 7 T was implemented. Coronal proton density, T2, T2*, and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery contrasts were acquired as well as an isotropic 3D magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo (500 microm isotropic voxel dimension, noninterpolated). Observance of energy deposition restrictions within acceptable scan times remained challenging in the acquisition of thin, spin-echo-based sections. At the higher resolution enabled by 7 T, demarcation of the hippocampus and some internal features including gray/white matter differentiation and depiction of the hippocampal mantle becomes much more viable when compared with 1.5 T; thus, in the future, this imaging technology might help in the diagnosis of subtle hippocampal changes.
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