Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hyper-CEST magnetic resonance imaging machine

A new machine which implements magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been developed by researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.
They thought the machine to be faster and much more sensitive comparing to existing ones.

The researchers form University of California call the invention "Hyper-CEST" (hyperpolarized xenon chemical-exchange saturation transfer).

They say that the key to their new technique is "temperature-controlled molecular depolarisation gates', which is closely related field of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that yields a spectrum of molecular information rather than an image.

"The new method holds the promise of combining a set of proven NMR tools for the first time into a practical, supersensitive diagnostic system for imaging the distribution of specific molecules on such targets as tumours in human subjects, or even on individual cancer cells," says Leif Schroder of Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division.

The researchers say that the ability achieve high-contrast images, multiplexed to identify a range of molecular targets, and to do so in a short time, offers many benefits to patients and physicians.

"Doctors attempting to characterize tumours very often have to take biopsies, and that's painful for the patient, so they usually prefer to take only one biopsy," says Schroder.

"But then they have to run all their tests on this very little tissue. So they would be happy with a method where you have a toolbox of sensors, you throw them all in and wait to let them bind, and then do your tests at the different frequencies and you see what sensors are present, detecting the different proteins," the researcher adds.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

How to behave yourself when taking MRI scans

Taking Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans of your body is usually an easy enough process for any patient as it is conducted in a well-equipped and specialized medical institutions. First, MRS itself is quite a loud machine. So be prepared for that. here is what you should ask for to reduce the load on your ears.

1) The technician should give you the headphones, not the usual ones but those that helicopter pilots wear (with an improved sound-isolation characteristics). You would better ask for those special phones.

2) Some also offer a list of CDs and ask what kind of music a patient likes and want to listen to. If you chose not to have any music - this may appear to be not acceptable. The technician will tell you that you should listen to it anyway because the machine is very very loud.

3) At this point you should ask how listening to music cranked up loud enough to drown out the machine was any better for ears than just listening to the machine itself. The technician will get weird look on her face like this had never occurred to her before. The answer is clear: drowning out one noise with another doesn’t make things any quieter.

4) At any rate, you should not be disappointed about something going wrong. Just try to take your pictures and get them away when you are done.

MRI Results Example

The MRI image was captured from GE Centricity software running under Windows on VMWare Fusion

This is an example if MRI scanned image if a human brain. This should be treated as a good result for a glioma patient as he as something to hope for: the tumor is quiescent, not growing and the flair is no more evident either. Indeed, in the image above the tumor is just barely visible (lower right quadrant). So, chemo (Avastin) continues…

Flair - the area around the tumor and radiation therapy damage

How I got with MRI

Hello folks. I've decided to start this blog because I began dealing with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) quite long ago and had enough time to get familiar with it. It all began when I was seriously injured in a car accident. I head a legs broken, so as the neck and the ribs. These were enough reasons to be afraid to even look at an MRI scan of these body parts. Some other parts were also broken:

  1. Sternum (only a little)
  2. Costa
  3. Femur
  4. Phalanges
  5. Metacarpals
  6. Carpals
  7. Tarsal
  8. Talus
  9. Metatarsals
  10. Phalanges digiti
  11. Tibia bone
  12. Fibula bone
  13. Patella
  14. Pelvis bones
  15. Vertebra
  16. Humerus bones
  17. Clavicle
  18. Scapula
  19. Ulna bone
  20. Radius
Quite an impressive list, ugh. But it were all the facts I had to face. When I got an MRI scans print-outs for these body parts and bones it was a new and interesting experience for me. Some of them still hurt almost constantly, some only a little, some do not. but the pictures were quite exact to reflect the situation.