The 7T MRI scanner Magnetom Terra is the first ultra-high-field MR scanner to be approved for clinical use. Credit: Siemens.
The scanner is the first of its kind approved for clinical imaging in North America. Credit: Siemens.
The MRI scanner is used for musculoskeletal and neurological examinations. Credit: Siemens.
The MRI scanner was installed at the University of Southern California (USC) in February 2017. Credit: Jim Stanis.

The Magnetom Terra 7 Tesla (7T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is an advanced ultra-high-field scanner developed by Siemens Healthineers. It is one of the first 7T MRI scanners cleared for clinical imaging in the US and Europe.

The device is designed to produce cross-sectional images of the brain and knee of patients weighing 66lbs (30kg) or more. It is suitable for musculoskeletal and neurological applications.

In August 2017, the scanner obtained Conformité Européenne (CE) and 510(k) certifications for clinical use in Europe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the device for clinical imaging in October 2017.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was one of the first medical institutes in North America to use the Magnetom Terra for clinical practice.

The machine is also installed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as at the Keck School of Medicine’s Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute.

Magnetom Terra 7 Tesla scanner technical details

The Magnetom Terra 7T scanner system is 2.97m long and has a gradient strength of 80mT/m. It weighs less than 25t and occupies a 65m² area. The machine is designed to integrate easily into clinical environments.

The scanner’s actively shielded, highly homogeneous superconducting 7T magnet is 2.7m long and has a bore size of 0.6m. It is 50% lighter than other 7T magnets and is designed to be transported cold in an aircraft.

Magnetom Terra 7T features an open system architecture design and has two coils to produce precise cross-sectional images of the head and knee. It delivers eight-channel parallel transmission (pTX) to capture images of challenging body regions.

The machine comes with an 80/200 gradient system, which delivers high power to perform diffusion MRI and functional MRI (fMRI). It is designed to provide enhanced imaging capabilities, with up to 64 receive channels.

Magnetom Terra 7T’s ultrafine 0.2mm in-plane anatomical resolution improves the visibility of small lesions in previously undiagnosed patients. In addition, the scanner’s software platform allows study protocols to be shared easily with magnetic resonance systems in clinical routine.

Magnetom Terra 7T scanner applications

The advanced Magnetom Terra 7 Tesla scanner is intended for both musculoskeletal and neurological applications. It also supports basic clinical research activities.

The machine helps physicians analyse and improve the visibility of very small pathologies by creating anatomical imaging of cells in musculoskeletal conditions. In neurological applications, the scanner can be used to examine and measure sub-cortical brain activity using a functional magnetic resonance imaging technique.

Results from the device will help users make decisions on treatment choices and determine treatment efficacy. The scanner can also be used as an MRI microscope to explore metabolic changes by measuring the anatomy, function and metabolism of the body tissue.

Magnetom Terra’s flexible design allows researchers to configure the device for future clinical applications.

Magnetom Terra 7T scanner benefits

The scanner offers twice the signal-to-noise ratio compared to the traditional 3T MRI scanner in optimised 7T neuro, as well as musculoskeletal clinical applications. It can quickly produce 0.14cm³ high-resolution images for metabolic brain mapping and make lesions more conspicuous.

The device also offers sub-millimetre BOLD fMRI precision to visualise sub-cortical activations. The scanner can be used in both research mode and 510(k)-cleared clinical modes to support both clinical routine and translational research aimed at developing groundbreaking technologies.

Its dual-mode functionality allows it to switch between clinical tasks and innovative research methods within seven minutes while retaining research and clinical images on different databases.