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Monday, October 28, 2013

How does an MRI work?

Ever wonder how an works? explains in this 60-second video:

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Multitransmit for body MRI: Is it worth it?

October 18, 2013 -- At higher field strengths, the hope is for new technology to lead to more clinical applications benefiting from homogeneous MR images, but can it ever be cost-effective? That was the main question addressed during a round table discussion at the recent meeting of the European Society of MR in Medicine and Biology (ESMRMB) in Toulouse, France.

At the session, experts outlined the promise of parallel transmit (pTX) whole-body MRI and how it is already improving abdominal and prostate cancer detection and changing individual patient outcomes. The next couple of years will be a learning curve in understanding how independent pTX channels can improve image quality and change patient or even MR management, and future clinical systems could include eight, 16, or even 32 channels at field strengths of up to 7 tesla, they believe.
"We are only at the beginning of the journey," said Dr. Stefan Haneder, the section chief of vascular and abdominal imaging at the Institute of Clinical Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at University Medical Center Mannheim in Germany and a panel speaker during a discussion focusing primarily on the cost benefits of pTX whole-body MRI.

read more at 

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Apple +Tesla = ICAR

You heard it hear First.........

He will now be Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Programs 

Tesla Motors just grabbed an Apple engineer for its team.

The electric automaker announced that it hired Doug Field to be its Vice President of Vehicle Programs this week. Field was previously Vice President of Mac Hardware Engineering at Apple.

“Doug has demonstrated the leadership and technical talent to develop and deliveroutstanding products, including what are widely considered the best computers in the world,” said Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Tesla’s future depends on engineers who can create the most innovative, technologically advanced vehicles in the world. Doug’s experience in both consumer electronics and traditional automotive makes him an important addition to our leadership team.”

Field, who started his engineering career in the auto industry with Ford Motor Company, is responsible for the development of many popular Apple products like MacBook Air, iMac and MacBook Pro.

“Until Tesla came along, I had never seriously considered leaving Apple,” said Field. “I started my career with the goal of creating incredible cars, but ultimately left the auto industry in search of fast-paced, exciting engineering challenges elsewhere. As the first high tech auto company in modern history, Tesla is at last an opportunity for me and many others to pursue the dream of building the best cars in the world—while being part of one of the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley."

Tesla wants the best engineers out there, and where better to go searching than a former auto engineer who works at one of the top tech companies in the world. Tesla and Apple are a lot alike in that they both sell high-end, clean-designed products meant to rock their respective industries.

Source: Tesla Motors

World’s most powerful MRI can lift a tank like Magneto

X-Men: Professor X plays chess against Magneto

If you’ve ever wondered how much energy it takes to perform a full body scan, consider this: a new MRI designed to probe the deep structure of the brain uses a magnet more powerful than the ones inside the Large Hadron Collider. This magnet could pick up a 60-metric-ton tank. It could create a field strong enough to affect the weak diamagnetism of blood, even levitating small animals. Or, if used properly, it could align a good portion of the protons in your body, turning your atomic structure into the most powerful musical instrument of all time. In an MRI, applying the magnetic field puts tension on the atomic strings, and sudden removal of the field plucks them — the hydrogen-rich water molecules in your body snap back to their lowest energy state, and in the process give off radio waves that can be collected to show how those molecules were arranged.

A regular MRI brain scan.

A regular MRI brain scan.


So the resolution of an MRI is directly related to, among other things, field strength. Most medical imaging machines produce fields between 0.5 and three teslas in strength — that’s enough to align a good portion of the hydrogen nuclei (protons) in the body, enough to see large scale structures like tumors or loss of brain mass. However, for research purposes it’s often necessary to dramatically increase the strength of the magnetic field, aligning nuclei even more densely and thus creating more data points per cubic centimeter. Newer research MRI machines can produce fields of around nine teslas, but this upcoming machine, called INUMAC, can reach strengths of almost 12. It creates this field using coils made of more than 200 kilometers of superconducting cable.

INUMAC stands for Imaging of Neuro disease Using high-field MR And Contrastophores — even with all those skipped words and a price tag in excess of $250 million, they still couldn’t come up with a meaningful acronym. It is at least descriptive, however: INUMAC will use a high-powered magnetic resonance field to image neurological disease. To add to this field, it’s necessary to start looking at the brain on a much more detailed level than ever before. Where normal hospital scanners can see down to resolution of about a cubic millimeter (roughly 10,000 neurons per pixel), INUMAC will be able to see roughly ten times more acutely, with a resolution of 0.1 mm, or 1000 neurons. The brain also functions at an incredible pace, and the standard MRI “time resolution” of one second can lead to smudged images, almost like leaving the shutter open too long on a camera. INUMAC will be able to capture information across just one tenth of a second, which will dramatically reduce noise in its measurements.

Powerful electromagnets use coils of superconducting cable to carry huge currents and create enormous magnetic fields.
Powerful electromagnets use coils of superconducting cable to carry huge currents and create enormous magnetic fields.
There’s no telling what researchers might learn from watching the progression of neurological disease on this scale. There is still much to discover about how Alzheimer’s disease eats away at the tissue of the brain — and a higher resolution scanner could detect the onset of disease much earlier than currently possible. Functional imaging, which follows brain activity by watching neuron excitation, could be taken to a whole new level of detail and reveal structural complexities we currently cannot see. (See: Easy cloaking with superconductors and magnetic tape.)
Powerful electromagnets use coils of superconducting cable to carry huge currents and create enormous magnetic fields.

In fact, INUMAC’s field is so strong it could even allow new forms of imaging. As mentioned, modern MRI machines look for the RF signals of realigning hydrogen nuclei, but a sufficiently powerful magnet could look with other elements like sodium or potassium. This could potentially reveal a whole new array of evidence about the brain, new tissues that incorporate few freely aligning hydrogen atoms and are thus underrepresented on “1H-MRI” scans. INUMAC’s super-magnet must be kept at a chilly -271 degrees Celsius or else lose its superconductivity, though, and the liquid helium required to do this makes an economy model impossible to imagine. Until we learn to make cheap, readily available superconductors that operate at or near room temperature, there’s no way to get this kind of functionality to the masses.

The team hopes to have INUMAC producing working research images by 2015.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Medtronic Introduces the First and Only Neurostimulation Systems for Chronic Pain Designed for Full-Body MRI Safety*

Press Release

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Medtronic, Inc.
Innovative Design Enhancements Provide Patients Unprecedented Access to Diagnostic Care
MINNEAPOLIS - August 6, 2013 - With the first U.S. implants of its new RestoreSensor®SureScan® MRI neurostimulation systems, Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) is introducing the first and only implantable neurostimulation (also known as spinal cord stimulation, or SCS) systems for use in the treatment of chronic, intractable back and/or limb pain that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for conditionally safe* full-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) under specific conditions.
MRI scans have become a diagnostic standard of care, allowing physicians to detect a wide range of health conditions by viewing highly detailed images of internal organs, blood vessels, muscle, joints, tumors, areas of infection and other areas of the body by using strong magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses to create images of structures inside the body. As advancements in technology have increased accuracy, effectiveness and patient comfort, MRI use has grown dramatically in recent years. Worldwide, it is estimated that 60 million MRI procedures are performed each year.1 In the United States, the number of scans has nearly doubled in the past decade, with 32 million scans - more than one MRI per second -- performed in 2011.2
Until now, SCS patients referred for a body MRI were denied a scan due to concerns about the system being affected by the large magnetic fields and radio frequency (RF) energy involved in MRI. Medtronic's neurostimulation systems with SureScan MRI technology and Vectris® SureScan® MRI percutaneous leads are specially designed with enhancements to reduce or eliminate the hazards produced by the MRI environment. The systems also include a proprietary SureScan feature, which sets the neurostimulator into an appropriate mode for the MRI environment, enabling the radiology departments to easily and conveniently confirm a patient's implantable system is safe for MRI scanning.
Among the first physicians to implant these new systems are neurosurgeon Ali Rezai, M.D., professor and director of the Center for Neuromodulation and Functional Neurosurgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, and president of both the North American Neuromodulation Society and Congress of Neurological Surgeons; David L. Caraway, M.D., Ph.D., medical director for St. Mary's Pain Relief Center in Huntington, W.Va., and a member of the board of directors for the North American Neuromodulation Society and executive vice president, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; and Mehul J. Desai, M.D., M.P.H., director, spine, pain medicine and research at Metro Orthopedics and Sports Therapy (MOST) in Silver Spring, Md.
"The ability to safely perform MRI scans after a spinal cord stimulator implant (SCS) is an important advance and a major benefit for our patients," said Dr. Rezai. "In today's medical practice, MRI examinations are necessary and routinely performed for diagnosis and clinical care.  It is very likely that a patient with chronic pain, spinal disease, neurological and orthopedic disorders will require an MRI scan.  However, until now, this was not feasible with SCS implants.  I am happy that we will now be able to offer MRI scans for our patients."
The RestoreSensor SureScan MRI neurostimulation system is one of a portfolio of new Medtronic neurostimulation systems enhanced with this technology and using Vectris®SureScan® MRI leads, which include: PrimeAdvanced® SureScan MRI, RestoreAdvanced®SureScan MRI, and RestoreUltra® SureScan MRI. The systems received FDA approval in March 2013 and Conformité Européenne (CE) Mark approval in January 2013.
"The approval of Medtronic's SureScan neurostimulation systems means patients finding relief from their chronic pain with neurostimulation therapy can feel confident knowing they have access to an important diagnostic tool without compromising their healthcare," said Julie Foster, general manager and vice president, Pain Stimulation and Targeted Drug Delivery in the Neuromodulation business of Medtronic, Inc. "This latest innovation is yet another example of our ongoing commitment to provide clinicians with safe, effective solutions to meet the needs of their patients."
Medtronic SureScan neurostimulation systems with Vectris SureScan percutaneous MRI leads for chronic pain are the latest additions to a growing number of existing Medtronic devices that are designed for MRI access. These include the Medtronic SynchroMed® II programmable drug infusion system and Medtronic SureScan® pacing systems, which are available worldwide.
Multimedia Release
A multimedia version of this release, with links to graphics, animation and additional background information can be found at:
About Medtronic Neurostimulation Therapy for Chronic PainMedtronic neurostimulation therapy for chronic pain uses a medical device placed under a patient's skin to deliver mild electrical impulses to the spinal cord, which act to block pain signals from going to the brain. Since Medtronic developed the therapy in partnership with physicians in the 1980s, Medtronic neurostimulation therapy has helped nearly 200,000 people worldwide manage their chronic pain and enhance their lives. In 2011, the FDA approved Medtronic's AdaptiveStim® with RestoreSensor®, the first neurostimulator to incorporate motion sensor technology to help treat chronic pain. The innovative system uses a proprietary sensor and algorithm to automatically detect and respond to changes in the patient's body position, resulting in effective pain relief and convenience. More information about Medtronic's SureScan MRI Technology for spinal cord stimulation can be found
Medtronic's Leadership in Neuromodulation
Medtronic developed and leads the field of neuromodulation, the targeted and regulated delivery of electrical pulses and pharmaceuticals to specific sites in the nervous system. The company's Neuromodulation business includes implantable neurostimulation and targeted drug delivery systems for the management of chronic pain, common movement disorders, spasticity and urologic and gastrointestinal disorders. 
About Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the global leader in medical technology - alleviating pain, restoring health, and extending life for millions of people around the world.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
- end -

The hidden hazard of your MRI

MRI Safety is a primary concern for any Imaging Center. Did you know that the responsibility of maintaining the cryogen vent pathway lies with the site operator? We have all heard the horror stories of a steel wheelchair or gas bottle being pulled into an MRI and killing the patient. However, there are also hidden dangers that can cause an MRI to explode with devastating results. The cause is often overlooked as it is not readily visible, but danger may be close at hand.

A typical MRI can hold over 1000 liters of liquid helium. If there is a quench, that 1000 liters of liquid helium becomes more than 8000 liters of helium gas and that gas needs to go somewhere. If obstructed, the pressure builds until there is a violent explosion. The American College of Radiology recommends that cryogen vent pathways be inspected yearly to prevent such a tragedy. In our years of performing inspections of cryogen vent pathways (quench pipes), we have seen crushed quench pipes as well as quench pipes clogged with debris or filled with water. The biggest problem that we see, is water trapped in the elbow of the quench pipe. In the event of a quench, the cryogenic temperatures hitting the water will instantly turn it to ice at the and block the egress of the rapidly expanding gas. The result is disastrous, destroying the MRI, the room that it is in and anyone around it! 

Quench Pipe inspections are typically done on a yearly basis. You can hire a professional company to do this, or have your own maintenance department perform the inspection. The inspection should begin in the scan room: 

  • Remove the ceiling tiles around the vent and inspect the pipe insulation/vapor barrier, pipe connections and where the vent penetrates the RF shield. Are the bolts tight? Are the hangers secure? Are all the clamps tight? Is the vapor barrier or insulation soggy?

  • The drain plug should be removed from the bottom of the quench valve elbow and drained of any water. Look for any condensation or water damage on the vent pipe, insulation or ceiling tiles. This could indicate a leak in the flashing on the roof.

  • Is the vent of the proper diameter to maintain an adequate pressure drop? The longer the run and the more bends, the greater the diameter must be. Where the vent is vertical on the roof, a 90 degree horizontal discharge will not sufficiently protect from severe wind-driven rain as it only takes a wind speed of 20 to 25 MPH to drive rain at greater than a 45 degree angle. The screen covering the exit of the vent must be inspected for any holes larger than the recommended screening size to prevent the ingress of birds, small animals and debris.
  • A professional will have a remote camera which travels along the inside of the quench pipe taking high resolution videos of the pipe as it goes through. The videos are then analyzed for any defects, debris or liquids. A full report is provided to the customer outlining the deficiencies of the system and the corrective actions that are required to bring the cryogen vent pathway back into conformance. Pictures taken from within the vent are also provided to highlight the deficiencies.

  • Additionally, signs must be posted within the vent exit area to warn first responders, workers or pedestrians of the dangers of a quench. Anyone within a 25 foot radius of the vent at the time of a quench is subject to sudden cryogenic temperatures which can result in frost bite, asphyxiation or injury caused by flying debris.
  • Don’t ever assume that this important piece of safety equipment is functioning correctly. Have it checked annually by a trained professional or disaster may be just out of sight!

    About the author: John Aff is a production engineer at Independence Cryogenic Engineering LLC in Little Egg Harbor, NJ. He has been working in the field of cryogenics for 12 years, designing and building cold heads and helium compressors. He previously spent two decades as a biomedical engineer. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

PET/CT + MR Trimodality Imaging

PET/CT + MR Trimodality Imaging

The superb soft-tissue-contrast of MR. The exceptional metabolic insight of PET. The precise anatomical reference of CT. Fusing these three powerful modalities holds tremendous promise—by opening up exciting new possibilities in the management of cancer, neurodegenerative and cardiac diseases.

PET-CT-MR clinical image, spine.

You can utilize leading-edge PET, CT and MRI technologies — together or individually — providing unparalleled choice, flexibility and clinical value.  Researchers and clinicians can access new technology to potentially improve image quality. See fine vessel detail. Visualize cardiac anatomy and function. Detect small lesions. Monitor response to therapy.  And forge a smarter path from clinical research to patient care.
Combining mature, robust technologies with new breakthroughs, Trimodality imaging is intended to be one of the best investments available for researchers and multi-specialty hospitals. That’s why we celebrate it as another step toward helping you make the best decisions for your patients.

A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique has been developed by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, which may help detect signs of multiple sclerosis more vividly

Read more: New MRI Technique may Help Detect Multiple Sclerosis | Medindia

 New MRI Technique may Help Detect Multiple Sclerosis

The technique analyzes the frequency of electro-magnetic waves collected by an MRI scanner, instead of the size of those waves. Although analyzing the number of waves per second had long been considered a more sensitive way of detecting changes in tissue structure, the math needed to create usable images had proved daunting.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs when a person's immune cells attack the protective insulation, known as myelin, that surrounds nerve fibres. The breakdown of myelin impedes the electrical signals transmitted between neurons, leading to a range of symptoms, including numbness or weakness, vision loss, tremors, dizziness and fatigue.

 IMAGE: This brain image was developed using a frequency-based MRI scan. The circled areas show lesions -- scars in the myelin.
Click here for more information.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

RSNA 2013

    • General  

    • Register 

      • Unsurpassed Continuing Education
        Image Interpretation Session
        Watch top radiology experts—your colleagues—as they’re presented with challenging cases and make diagnoses on the spot.

        Residents and Fellows Symposium
        Designed for trainees, these Wednesday sessions help you plan for success after residency and teach you “survival skills” for your job.

        CIR at RSNA 2013  View 2012 clip »
        Available in Spanish with English translation, “Radiología de Infeccion e Inflamacion” covers infection and inflammation imaging in various body systems.

        Cases of the Day
        Submit your diagnoses each day for these highly popular cases, challenging your colleagues and earning continuing education credit.

        RSNA/ESR Emergency Symposium
        This partnered session shows you general applications of emergency radiology, focusing on pediatric, CNS, chest and abdominal emergencies.

        RSNA Diagnosis Live™
        Bring your mobile device and go head-to-head with your colleagues all week in these entertaining, fast-paced game sessions.Register Now

Recent Publication by the Joint Commission

A tremendously thorough analysis of the gains realized in acknowledging the synergistic relationship between safety measures for the patient and those for the healthcare worker.  Incredibly diverse range of included reference documentation provide the comprehensive groundwork for numerous suggestions that can be immediately implemented in your healthcare facility.  Several presented case studies offer examples of success stories at those facilities where the status quo was no longer acceptable.

Click here for a full pdf of the manuscript. 

Knowing the Cost Does Not Affect Number of MRI Tests Ordered by Doctors

A new study published in the Journal of American College of Radiology reports researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that the knowledge of the cost of conducting an MRI has no bearing on the number of tests ordered by doctors for their hospitalized patients.

 Knowing the Cost Does Not Affect Number of MRI Tests Ordered by Doctors

"Cost alone does not seem to be the determining factor in deciding to go ahead with an expensive radiographic test," says the study's senior author, Daniel J. Brotman, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the hospitalist program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. "There is definitely an over-ordering of tests in this country, and we can make better decisions about whether our patients truly need each test we order for them. But when it comes to big-ticket tests like MRI, it appears the doctors have already decided they need to know the information, regardless of the cost of the test."

Read more: Knowing the Cost Does Not Affect Number of MRI Tests Ordered by Doctors | Medindia

There are built-in disincentives to ordering many major tests if they are not necessary, such as the potential danger of radiation used in some, Brotman says. In addition to making physicians more sensitive to the costliness of unnecessary testing, Brotman says they need to learn how to explain to patients why they may not need them.

For the study, Brotman and his colleagues identified the 10 imaging tests most frequently ordered for patients at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dividing the tests into two groups, they made sure prices were attached to one group over a six-month period, from November 2009 to May 2010. Brotman and his colleagues left out the pricing information for the other group over the same time period. Prices are not typically shared with physicians or patients in most medical settings.

When the researchers compared the ordering rates to the rates from a six-month period a year earlier, when no costs were displayed at all, they found no significant difference in ordering patterns.

Read more: Knowing the Cost Does Not Affect Number of MRI Tests Ordered by Doctors | Medindia

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The search for the roots of psychopathy.

Dr. Kent Kiehl uses MRI technology to scan prison inmates for signs of pyschopathy in the hope of discovering a treatment.

In January of 2007, Kiehl arranged to have a portable functional magnetic-resonance-imaging scanner brought into Western—the first fMRI ever installed in a prison. So far, he has recruited hundreds of volunteers from among the inmates. The data from these scans, Kiehl hopes, will confirm his theory, published in Psychiatry Research, in 2006, that psychopathy is caused by a defect in what he calls “the paralimbic system,” a network of brain regions, stretching from the orbital frontal cortex to the posterior cingulate cortex, that are involved in processing emotion, inhibition, and attentional control. His dream is to confound the received wisdom by helping to discover a treatment for psychopathy. “If you could target the brain region involved, then maybe you could find a drug that treats that region,” he told me. “If you could treat just five per cent of them, that would be a Nobel Prize right there.”

DTI imaging the Brain for Alzhiemers, and Schizophrenia



MRI Nueroarm Video