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To evaluate high-resolution MRI of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) at 3T using a surface coil (SC) or volume coil (VC).MRI was obtained from nine volunteers in the supine position with a 3-inch SC and in prone position with a transmit-receiver wrist VC at 3T. Coronal two-dimensional-gradient echo (2D-GRE) images (TR/TE/FA = 500 msec/15 msec/40°, 1 mm slice-thickness, 60 mm field of view [FOV], 192 × 256 matrix) and coronal 3D-GRE images (TR/TE/FA = 33 msec/15 msec/10°, 0.8 mm slice-thickness, 80 mm FOV, 256 × 256 matrix) were used. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of the TFCC and surrounding structures were measured. For qualitative measurement, visualization of TFCC and intercarpal ligaments was graded.SNR of TFCC, cartilage, and bone marrow on 2D-GRE with SC/VC was as follows: 5.3/5.3 (TFCC), 16.5/14.4 (cartilage), and 3.61/3.96 (bone marrow). 3D-GRE showed similar SNR. Cartilage-TFCC/cartilage-bone marrow CNR were 11.1/12.8 (SC-2D-GRE), 8.8/10.5 (VC-2D-GRE), 14.1/15.5 (SC-3D-GRE), and 11.9/15.0 (VC-3D-GRE). Quantitative values were not significantly different between SC and VC. Visualization of TFCC and intercarpal ligament with SC was superior to that with VC. All structures show higher scores with 3D-GRE imaging compared to 2D-GRE imaging.SC may provide superior qualitative and quantitative results and can be an alternative in case of difficulty in prone position at 3T.