Stanford, GE develop MR cartilage imaging technique

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GE Healthcare has developed a new MR-based cartilage imaging technique through its collaboration with Stanford University. It is hoped that the new method will provide quicker, more accurate assessment of cartilage and improve the evaluation of therapies for cartilage damage and arthritis.
   
The technique is called IDEAL SSFP and has potential application in imaging articular cartilage in the knee. The technique has been evaluated by researchers who published their findings in the August issue of Radiology. The paper lays out the researchers findings when utilizing IDEAL SSFP for 3D MR imaging.
   
The study’s lead author Garry E. Gold, MD, Stanford University, stated that this technique is able to overcome current limitations of FS-SPGR for cartilage imaging, particularly the long scan time for fat suppression as well as the absence or lack or bright synovial fluid visible to the clinician.
   
“IDEAL SSFP represents an improved method of cartilage imaging particularly for patients with knee pain from sports injuries or arthritis,” Gold said. “The technique can also provide rapid-cartilage-specific imaging.”
   
The authors used this technique on the right and left knees of five healthy patients between the ages of 26 and 42 years. The images were acquired on a GE EXCITE HD 3.0T MR system with a transmit-receive quadrature knee coil.
   
IDEAL (iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo symmetry and least-squares estimation) which was developed by GE, could also be used for imaging of the musculoskeletal system and other body areas, the company said.