A new method of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could routinely spot specific cancers, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and other maladies early, when they're most treatable, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center suggest in the journal Nature.
Each body tissue and disease has a unique fingerprint that can be used to quickly diagnose problems, the scientists say.
By using new MRI technologies to scan for different physical properties simultaneously, the team differentiated white matter from gray matter from cerebrospinal fluid in the brain in about 12 seconds, with the promise of doing this much faster in the near future.
The technology has the potential to make an MRI scan standard procedure in annual check-ups, the authors believe. A full-body scan lasting just minutes would provide far more information and require no radiologist to interpret the data, making diagnostics cheap, compared to today's scans, they contend.
"The overall goal is to specifically identify individual tissues and diseases, to hopefully see things and quantify things before they become a problem," said Mark Griswold, a radiology professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center. "But to try to get there, we've had to give up everything we knew about the MRI and start over."
Griswold has been working on this goal with Case Western Reserve's Vikas Gulani, MD, an assistant professor of radiology, and Nicole Seiberlich, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, for a decade. During the last three years, they developed the technology and proved the concept with graduate student Dan Ma; Kecheng Liu, PhD, collaborations manager from Siemens Medical Solutions Inc.; Jeffrey L. Sunshine, MD, professor of radiology and a radiologist at UH Case Medical Center; and Jeffrey L. Duerk, dean of Case School of Engineering and professor of biomedical engineeri
|Contact: Kevin Mayhood|
Case Western Reserve University