New MRI Technique Sheds Technology’s Longtime Limits
NYU Langone Medical Center researchers have developed a new technology that builds upon magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and creates images resolved enough to enable consistent diagnoses across populations for the first time.
The quality of an MRI image depends on equal exposure of atoms to magnetic fields, which not only vary scanner to scanner, but also in their interactions with different parts of even a single tissue sample.This has made it difficult, if not impossible, to compare one MRI with the next or even specific areas within a single MRI.
“This marks the advent of ‘quantitative MRI,’ where new kinds of tissue maps become the gold standard for diagnoses and reveal disease patterns that are consistent from patient to patient,” says Sodickson, also lead investigator for the Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research. “It will turn scanner design on its head.”
The new approach also promises to accomplish superior imaging with less expensive machines, a must in the face of the cost cutting underway in healthcare, the authors say. Faster, simpler approaches would also solve the problem of scanners that, elaborately equipped to correct for field variations, require meticulous calibration and lengthen exam time beyond what some patients can tolerate.
Along with Cloos and Sodickson, authors of the new study in the Department of Radiology at NYU Langone were Florian Knoll, Kai Tobias Block, Mary Bruno, and Graham C. Wiggins. Also making a key contribution was Tiejun Zhao of Siemens Medical Solutions. This work was supported in part by NIH grants R21 EB020096, R01 EB011551, and P41 EB017183. The Center for Advanced Imaging Innovation and Research is a National Biomedical Technology Resource Center supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).
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