Breaking News
September 23, 2018 - Novel therapeutic strategy for blood vessel related disorders, such as cancer and retinopathy
September 23, 2018 - New naturally occurring antibiotic found effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis
September 23, 2018 - First-in-human phase 0 study shows clinically-relevant activity of new drug in glioblastoma
September 23, 2018 - Removing tobacco product display from shops reduced number of children buying cigarettes
September 23, 2018 - Random fraction of specialized immune cells leads the charge in battling invaders
September 23, 2018 - Few minutes of sprinting exercise may be as effective as longer exercise sessions
September 23, 2018 - Researchers use neutrons to make first direct observations of water in lipid bilayers
September 23, 2018 - Researchers demonstrate pre-clinical success for universal flu vaccine in new paper
September 23, 2018 - Study reveals surprising gaps in some HIV medical providers’ knowledge of ACA
September 23, 2018 - Oxehealth secures European medical device accreditation for vital signs measurement software
September 23, 2018 - HTN Tx Intensification Common Upon Discharge in U.S. Vets
September 23, 2018 - Fibre can strengthen the intestinal barrier
September 23, 2018 - New platform examines infectious pathogens that may spread from animals to humans
September 23, 2018 - Demographers create detailed color map of population aging in Europe
September 23, 2018 - New type of fatty acid can slow down overreactive immune system
September 23, 2018 - Innovative procedure could provide breakthrough in treating early-stage lung cancer
September 23, 2018 - Research finds drop in number of measles cases in the EU/EEA since March 2018
September 23, 2018 - Researchers acquire new insights into DNA polymerases
September 23, 2018 - Alzheimer’s diagnosis might become simpler with new brain imaging method
September 23, 2018 - Reports Warn of Growing Opioid Crisis Among Seniors
September 23, 2018 - Researchers unravel why people with HIV suffer from more neurologic diseases
September 23, 2018 - Human brain structured to make best possible decision with limited resources
September 23, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Health on the hill
September 23, 2018 - Bad air and inadequate data prove an unhealthy mix
September 23, 2018 - Regular bedtime and wake time important for heart, metabolic health even among adults
September 23, 2018 - HIV and a tale of a few cities
September 23, 2018 - NIH launches clinical trial to test infusions of combination antibodies in people with HIV
September 23, 2018 - Researchers develop new system to detect consumption of synthetic cannabinoids
September 23, 2018 - Vax-Hub to influenze radical change in development and manufacturing of vaccines
September 23, 2018 - People who have slept lesser than seven hours have higher risks of car crashes
September 23, 2018 - an ancient art may work best to prevent falls in old age
September 23, 2018 - Consumption of foods with lower nutritional quality related to increased cancer risk
September 23, 2018 - Patient Health Information Often Shared Electronically
September 23, 2018 - Can machine learning bring more humanity to health care?
September 23, 2018 - Body organs undergo structural changes in response to diet
September 23, 2018 - Genetic polymorphisms linked with muscle injury and stiffness
September 23, 2018 - As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move
September 22, 2018 - Why Eczema Is Tougher to Treat for Black Patients
September 22, 2018 - Team reveals that human genome could contain up to 20 percent fewer genes
September 22, 2018 - USC research uncovers previously unknown genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
September 22, 2018 - Novel method achieves accurate and precise temperature estimation in fat-containing tissues
September 22, 2018 - BSI accredits Oxehealth’s vital signs measurement software as Class IIa medical device
September 22, 2018 - Evolution of psychiatric disorders and human personality traits
September 22, 2018 - Obesity in early puberty doubles asthma risk for boy’s future offspring
September 22, 2018 - World’s most advanced real-time patient monitoring platform receives key US patent
September 22, 2018 - Study explores connection between sexuality and cognitive status in older adults
September 22, 2018 - LSTM partners with TB Alliance to develop novel TB drug regimens
September 22, 2018 - Annual wellness visits improve delivery of preventive services in elderly population
September 22, 2018 - CHMP provides positive opinion to Cabometyx for previously-treated patients with hepatocellular carcinoma
September 22, 2018 - Hispanic communities with high proportions of Hispanics face more cardiovascular-related death
September 22, 2018 - Vici syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
September 22, 2018 - Single-dose drug can shorten flu symptoms by about a day, studies suggest
September 22, 2018 - AMSBIO launches circulating tumor DNA Reference Standards
September 22, 2018 - Sandalwood mimicking odorant could stimulate hair growth in humans
September 22, 2018 - Overlooked immune cells could play a key role in cancer immunotherapy, claims new study
September 22, 2018 - Study reveals prevalence of diagnosed type 1 and type 2 diabetes among American adults
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop fast detection strategy to know type of virus acquired by patients
September 22, 2018 - Global Prevalence of Insufficient Activity 27.5 Percent
September 22, 2018 - Strategies to protect bone health in hematologic stem cell transplant recipients
September 22, 2018 - Brigham Genomic Medicine program unravels 30 medical mysteries
September 22, 2018 - New system harnesses power of bubbles to destroy dangerous biofilms
September 22, 2018 - Inflammation plays crucial role in preventing heart attacks and strokes, study reveals
September 22, 2018 - Calorie dense, nutrient deficient meals common across the world
September 22, 2018 - Researchers develop technology to study behavior of implants without animal testing
September 22, 2018 - First gut bacteria in newborns may have lasting effect on ability to ward off chronic diseases
September 22, 2018 - Detection of BFD virus in parrots in 8 new countries raises concerns for threatened species
September 22, 2018 - Insulin treatment shows great potential against chronic bowel inflammation
September 22, 2018 - ‘Liking Gap’ Might Stand in Way of New Friendships
September 22, 2018 - Simple factors that can avoid harmful side effects in type 2 diabetes
September 22, 2018 - ALSAM Foundation invests additional $2 million for drug discovery and development projects
September 22, 2018 - Study findings may advance discussion of how to effectively curb human-wildlife conflict
September 22, 2018 - Dopamine neurons may involve in conditions ranging from Parkinson’s disease to schizophrenia
September 22, 2018 - Protein C and Protein S Tests: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
September 22, 2018 - Obesity and diabetes—two reasons why we should be worried about the plastics that surround us
September 22, 2018 - Concern over fussy eating prompts parents to use non-responsive feeding practices
September 22, 2018 - Novel mathematical approach uncovers existence of unsuspected biological cycles
September 22, 2018 - Cancer Research UK invests £14 million to transform London into cancer biotherapeutics hub
September 22, 2018 - Scientists predict how well the body will fight lung cancer by analyzing immune cell shapes
September 22, 2018 - New outbreak of rare eye disease identified in contact lens wearers
September 22, 2018 - Iterum Initiates SURE 2 and SURE 3 Phase 3 Clinical Trials of IV and Oral Sulopenem in Complicated Urinary Tract and Complicated Intra-abdominal Infections
5 Questions: How Stanford research is making MRI scans safer for kids | News Center

5 Questions: How Stanford research is making MRI scans safer for kids | News Center

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

In an MRI scanner, the body is exposed to a very strong magnetic field. The protons in the body’s water molecules align themselves with the magnetic field. We then manipulate them to make them give off radio-frequency signals that are detected by the scanner and translated into a picture.

To produce a clear picture, a traditional MRI scan requires that patients hold very still, sometimes for more than an hour. That’s difficult for young children. Children are also smaller, breathe faster and have higher heart rates — all factors that make the imaging challenges harder from a physics perspective. Kids may be given anesthesia to help them hold still, but that carries its own risks.

Instead, many children receive computed tomography scans, which use powerful X-rays that carry a risk of cancer. Also, for many tissues, CT has less diagnostic power than MRI. We’ve been accepting a suboptimal imaging test for kids because it’s more convenient, faster and doesn’t require anesthesia.

2. As part of your research at Stanford, you’ve been designing MRI equipment especially for children. What improvements have you introduced?

Vasanawala: We’ve invented solutions that have allowed us to eliminate the need for anesthesia in many cases and decreased the depth and duration of anesthesia in others.

We’ve been collaborating with engineers from UC-Berkeley to create new designs and production methods for highly flexible and lightweight MRI signal-receiving coils tailored to children’s bodies. Standard coils are larger than children need, making them unnecessarily heavy and uncomfortable. Larger-than-necessary coils also pick up extra noise or interference, reducing the image quality. Child-size receiver coils increase image clarity and lower scan times.

The smaller coils also greatly enhance the performance of a novel hybrid-imaging technology called PET-MR, which we are now offering to patients in our new imaging center at Packard Children’s Hospital. And the coils are being developed commercially as well.

3. How might these smaller receiver coils also help adult patients?

Vasanawala: There is a whole host of potential applications for adults. Sometimes you can see a lesion on an MRI that you want to biopsy but can’t reach when the area is covered with a big, bulky coil. With the lower-profile equipment, we’ll be able to biopsy through holes in the coil.  Also, a light flexible coil is just more comfortable for everyone.

And not every adult is a thin, 6-foot male. The new equipment will help us meet more patients’ needs. For instance, for breast MRI, it’s very helpful to have a form-fitting coil that sits close to the lesions we’re trying to image.

4. You’ve also improved the computing software that processes MRI data. How?

Vasanawala: Joseph Cheng, PhD, an electrical engineer in our group, has taken the lead in creating new image-reconstruction algorithms that work better for kids. We deployed motion-correction strategies that produce sharp images even when a child is moving slightly — this helps address the challenge of kids’ faster heart rates and breathing rates. Simultaneously, to reduce scan times, we implemented novel, high-dimensional imaging and compressed sensing coupled with artificial intelligence. These techniques allow the computer to reconstruct a full MR image from much less raw data. Scans that once took an hour are now complete in 5-10 minutes. This has had a particularly large impact for our cardiac, oncologic and musculoskeletal exams.

5. What most excites you about in the new imaging center at Packard Children’s?

Vasanawala: For the first time, we have an MRI scanner located inside our neurosurgery operating suite. It allows our neurosurgeons to confirm the success of a surgical procedure, such as a tumor resection, before surgery is complete. This saves time by eliminating a separate post-surgical MRI and the risk of needing an immediate repeat surgery. Patients will be spared a second round of anesthesia, hospital stays will be shortened and families will know if the surgical aims have been achieved as soon as their child is out of the operating room.

By the end of 2019, we will have a next-generation MRI scanner with much stronger magnetic field gradients that can be altered at high speed. This enables faster imaging and better image contrasts. Also, this new MRI scanner will come with a noninvasive technology used to kill certain types of tumors using sound waves. Known as MR-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound, it lets us pinpoint abnormal areas in the body, such as some types of tumors, and heat them to destroy the abnormality without cutting into surrounding healthy tissue.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles