Sunday, March 8, 2009

Powerful MRI

In conjunction with our Neuroscience coursework, we integrate the use of radiological imaging to visualize cranial structures as this is how we will see them most often. As seen in the image, technology is advancing quickly permitting greater medical flexibility.


After spending the past few months learning the anatomy of the brain, we had guest lecturer Dr. William Orrison, Chief of Neuroradiology from the Nevada Imaging Center, present on neuro-imaging and research. He was the first individual to be scanned with Toshiba's 3T MRI and is currently researching the extent of its capabilities.

The 3.0 Tesla MRI detects 320 lines of data with one turn making it quicker than older devices. Imaging studies use less contrast and produce data that is more detailed than previous machines. With all the data this powerful machine collects, 3-D images can be produced as well as dynamic motion of anatomical structures, diffusion tensor imaging (shown above), and angiography. Shortening scan times from one hour to a matter of minutes and data interpretation to a few minutes time makes this machine the new standard of care.

Despite its arrival last year, this new MRI is being used around the world to change the way physicians use diagnostic imaging. It is an exciting time to be in medicine and especially as a student. The tools of our generation will be vastly different from those of former professionals and I am certain that within the next few years advances will continue to come about, ultimately revolutionizing the practice of medicine.

Clinical Corner

Cerebrovascular Accident

A CVA or stroke occurs when the brain tissue losses blood and nutrient supply. This is similar to a heart attack and is sometimes referred to as a brain attack. Commonly this occurs as a result of blood clots that block blood vessels to certain parts of the brain. Neurological deficits result that give an individual indications that medical care is needed. There is a small window of opportunity for physicians to medically intervene and such symptoms should be treated as emergent. Diagnosis includes the use of radiological imaging to confirm the presence of a stroke. Imaging techniques may also be used to treat or remove stenosed or blocked vessels.


  1. Future Doctor Blatt,
    That's not an MRI machine, that's a CT machine. While CT has become the diagnostic workhorse of radiology departments, the MRI is still the most effective imagine device for stroke patients. The speed of brain MRI and MRA is still an issue in the effective treatment of stroke patients. With venous TPA indicated at no later than 3 hours and arterial TPA indicated at no later than 6 hours, time is a significant factor. A 3-Tesla magnet offers greater detail and faster scan times, so this is a great improvement in the care of stroke patients. There is no radiation exposure of any kind in the use of MRI.
    Just thought I should set you straight.

  2. Kane, you make a great point, which is rather embarrassing and obvious. Dr. Orrison discussed both MRI and CT equipment and I have confused them somewhat here. I appreciate your expertise in this field and your comment. I have made a few corrections to the post.

  3. Expertise isn't exactly the appropriate term. Topically informed might be a bit more correct, but that's why I'm getting out of radiography and pursuing a medical degree. Keep plugging away, you've got one reader who's rooting for you.

  4. Sweet images. But if I saw a brain like that while on call, I think I would have a stroke!

  5. Nice capture on the picture. You have a pretty good sense on art..

    It gives a floater image on stroke.



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