Objective: There is increasing interest in investigating the utility of 7 Tesla (7 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for imaging of skull base tumors. The present study quantifies visualization of tumor features and adjacent skull base anatomy in a homogenous cohort of pituitary adenoma patients. Methods: Eighteen pituitary adenoma patients were scanned at 7 T in this prospective study. All patients had reference standard-of-care clinical imaging at either 3 T (7/18, 39%) or 1.5 T (11/18, 61%). Visualization of tumor features and conspicuity of arteries and cranial nerves (CNs) was rated by an expert neuroradiologist on 7 T and clinical field strength MRI. Overall image quality and severity of image artifacts were also characterized and compared. Results: Ability to visualize tumor features did not differ between 7 T and lower field MRI. Cranial nerves III, IV, and VI were better detected at 7 T compared with clinical field strength scans. Cranial nerves III, IV, and VI were also better detected at 7 T compared with only 1.5 T, and CN III was better visualized at 7 T compared with 3 T MRI. The ophthalmic arteries and posterior communicating arteries (PCOM) were better detected at 7 T compared with clinical field strength imaging. The 7 T also provided better visualization of the ophthalmic arteries compared with 1.5 T scans. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that 7 T MRI is feasible at the skull base and identifies various CNs and branches of the internal carotid artery that were better visualized at 7 T. The 7 T MRI may offer important preoperative information that can help to guide resection of pituitary adenoma and reduce operative morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurological Surgery, Part B: Skull Base
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • 7 Telsa MRI
  • endoscopic endonasal surgery
  • neurosurgery
  • pituitary adenoma
  • skull base anatomy


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