© Virginie CALLOT/CRMBM-CEMEREM/CNRS Photothèque
Very high spatial resolution morphological image (0.18 x 0.18 mm2 in the plane) of a spinal cord at cervical level, acquired by ultra-high field (7-tesla) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The contrast obtained enables us to distinguish the grey matter clearly from the white matter. Sub-structures can also be identified within the white matter (slender and wedge-shaped bundles). Other details such as nerve roots, blood vessels and ligaments are also visible. Thanks to improved signal-to-noise ratios and new contrast levels, ultra-high field MRI enables us to see structures that until now were barely visible on conventional 1.5- and 3-tesla imaging devices, thus opening up new perspectives for a much finer characterisation of tissues and their alterations.