MRI faster, more flexible for broader applications
Attendees will have a post-Thanksgiving feast of MRI-related technologies to browse at RSNA this year, although 3T MRI systems will rule the show. But if that’s not your speed, there are plenty of 1.0T and 1.5T systems to browse. Advancements focus on making it easier to capture difficult-to-image areas of the body, such as new tools for cardiac imaging. Also look for MR-related products that ease information flow or reduce patient stress during exams.

Aurora Imaging Technology (Booth #6552) is introducing its SpiralRODEO breast MRI technology for use with the company’s Aurora 1.5T dedicated breast MRI system. SpiralRODEO’s features improved acquisition efficiency [three times greater than traditional 3D Fourier transformation (3DFT) reconstruction] with increased resolution for better dynamics. Aurora claims that this new technology offers signal improvement comparable with that of 4.5T.

GE Healthcare’s MR business (Booth #7164) is highlighting enhancements to its Signa HDx 1.5T and Signa HDx 3.0T MRI systems that include:
  • PROPELLER-HD, a Signa technique that “freezes” patient motion allowing clear, high-resolution, diagnostic-quality images in even active patients under challenging imaging conditions;
  • LAVA-XV, a Signa HDx acquisition technique that allows coverage of an entire organ in one breath hold and provides more resolution and coverage at a speed greater than standard MR;
  • VIBRANT-XV, a Signa HDx 3.0T imaging technique, accurately assesses both breasts with one exam in one patient visit without compromising spatial or temporal resolution;
  • CartiGram, a new noninvasive imaging method to assess articular cartilage integrity;
  • Signa HDx High-Density Head-Neck-Spine Array; and
  • The company’s next-generation MR-guided intra-operative surgical suite is being highlighted.

Hitachi AIRIS Elite Open MRHitachi Medical Systems America (Booth #7113) is featuring its Ascent 5.0 software upgrade program for the Altaire and AIRIS II. Ascent is the operating system software for Altaire, AIRIS II, and AIRIS Elite Open MR systems. Ascent 5.0 provides many features for both Altaire and AIRIS II, including sequence enhancements such as Shared Echo FSE for simultaneous collection of high-quality PD and T2-weighted images, and Gated IR/FIR, which enables free-breathing abdominal T1-weighted imaging. Altaire and AIRIS II systems equipped with DWI also can make use of One-Button Acquisition DWI, which initiates all scans necessary for DWI and ADC images with one interaction. The addition of FatSep FSE will allow AIRIS II systems equipped with Hitachi’s FatSep sequence to expand to T2-weighted imaging, combining the throughput advantage of FSE with fat/water separation. Additional options for Altaire include CardioSuite, a cardiac imaging package, and RAPID parallel imaging software and receiver coils. Ascent 5.0 also offers all platforms including the Workflow Plus optional package, a suite of interoperability features enabling conformance with IHE’s Scheduled Workflow integration profile.

Hologic (Booth #7730) is demonstrating its Opera Extremity MRI for orthopedic specialists. Opera E-MRI offers complete imaging of all extremities, including hip and shoulder applications. Real-time positioning speeds set up and significantly reduces exam time. The open design of Opera E-MRI also has been created to reduce anxiety and improve patient comfort.

Philips Medical Systems (Booth #1929A) is showcasing new advances to the SmartExam technology with expanded tools for automatic planning, scanning, and processing. Smart-Exam is available throughout the company’s entire portfolio for new and existing users of the Achieva 3T, Achieva 1.5T, and Panorama 1T systems.

The company also is highlighting advancements on its Achieva 3T, including techniques for faster cardiac MR; faster, higher-resolution 4D, contrast-enhanced MR angiography; and new developments in whole-body diffusion imaging. Look for a line of expanded portfolio of RF coils with higher SENSE acceleration factors as well.

Philips further is demonstrating its Panorama 1T Open MRI system with new coils designed to improve on the systems neurological, body and musculoskeletal imaging. Additionally, current Philips MR users will be able to view the newest technologies with a wide range of upgrade possibilities, options, and educational programs.

Finally, attendees can check out the company’s MRI NetForum Community online user community.

Siemens Medical Systems (Booth #4114) is highlighting its MAGNETOM Espree open-bore 1.5T system with Tim (Total imaging matrix). The MAGNETOM Espree system is the company’s shortest 1.5T MRI bore, at 125 cm (about four feet), so that more than 60 percent of an exam can be completed with the patient’s head outside of the bore. The system also has a bore opening of 70 cm (nearly 2.3 feet) in diameter and the average distance between a patient’s head and the MRI magnet at almost one foot.

Siemens also is demonstrating its MAGNETOM Trio MRI system with Tim, a 3T whole-body MRI. The system offers up to 32 receiver channels and parallel acquisition technique (PAT) factors of up to 16.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (Booth #1129) is previewing its first 3T MR system as a works in progress, a new magnet design and short-bore combination that delivers high homogeneity. In addition, the system features Toshiba’s Pianissimo, which substantially reduces noise.

The company also is previewing its Vantage Atlas 1.5T MRI system — a short-bore, multi-channel system with a large clinical field of view as a works in progress. The new Vantage Atlas is a 128-coil element system being developed in response to clinical demands for a flexible MRI system capable of scanning large or small fields of view while delivering high-resolution images.

A third works in progress is Atlas Plus — an upgrade to the current Vantage short-bore design that provides the largest field of view, designed to increase overall patient comfort. The Atlas Plus’ elliptical bore design delivers an extended 55-cm field of view and will be available as a field upgrade to the Vantage Atlas. 

MRI Peripherals
ETS-Lindgren (Booth #1509) is highlighting its latest MRI suite lighting with the MedLux XLS brand LED down lighting system. This LED technology enables fewer lighting fixtures to obtain adequate lighting, and the life span of the LED light engines will generally exceed the useful life of the MRI scanner.

Everbrite Lighting Technologies (Booth #1509) is introducing the most recent addition to its MedLux XLS Dimmer Control, which is designed for use with the company’s MedLux XLS lighting system.

Invivo (Booth #4722) is showcasing DynaCAD version 2.0 with new and upgraded visualization tools for rapid evaluation of MR data and planning of percutaneous procedures. The company also is demonstrating 16-channel RF coil technology and functional MRI for noninvasive pre-surgical brain mapping. Invivo also is featuring Precess, an MRI patient monitor and the first such monitor to feature wireless ECG and SpO2, the company says.

MEDRAD (Booth #8526) is demonstrating its Certo MR Wireless Network that enables clinicians to use MEDRAD products anywhere within the range of the network without interfering with the MR imaging signal. Using the system, patients can be moved easily in and out of the scan room without transitions or long cables, which is especially helpful when transitioning patients from different modalities. The Veris MR Monitor is the first of the company’s products to be compatible with the network, allowing clinicians to devote more focus to patients and to more efficiently manage them through the scanner suite.

Mercury Computer Systems (Booth #4383) is debuting its digital MRI receiver with noise reduction technology called Visage MR. Visage MR is a high-bandwidth, analog-to-digital receiver board that brings four times the resolution of current-generation MRI receivers.

ProScan MRI Education Foundation (Booth #1309) is showcasing its Interactive MRI Teaching File Series.

Resonance Technology (Booth #6932) is introducing a range of features to its CinemaVision audio-video entertainment system as well as the new FuncLAB functional MRI system with fully automated image data processing. CinemaVision now includes a lightweight headset that integrates video display and audio systems into a single unit design. The entire headset fits within the MRI coil. Also being introduced to CinemaVision are features that allow anxious patients to see the face of technologists and communicate with them during scanning. FuncLAB has a complete functional imaging task presentation component featuring high-quality 3D graphics as well as sound capabilities with a fully automated data processing component.