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MRI Technology, Next Ten years!

Som Panicker, Vice President, Sanrad Medical Systems

Today an MRI can perform imaging of coronary vessels of heart which was unimaginable till few years back. The most interesting development in magnet technology is the normal temperature superconducting magnets where there is no need of cooling. Already High Temperature Superconducting magnets ( HTS) are developed up to 0.5T and many firms are working a commercially viable normal temperature superconducting 1.5T MRI. If this comes true it will change the entire MRI magnet technology and that will be the biggest change in next 10 years.

Ultra fast scanning
Ultrafast MRI utilises multi channel (eight or more), phase-array brain coils, which increase the speed of image gathering but does not reduce the quality of the images. Ultrafast MRI has been cited as a useful diagnostic tool for patients suspected of suffering a stroke. Lot of MRI vendors are working in this area and ultrafast sequences will be a standard feature in coming years.
This new type of MRI technology will feature all of the image collection qualities of standard 1.5 Tesla MRI systems, but with the signal-to-noise (SNR) advantages of a very high field MRI scanner. Cardiac MRI is a beneficiary of this technology .

MRI HIFU
The therapeutic use of ultrasound combined with the navigation done with the help of MRI has resulted in MRgFUS or MRI HIFU (MR guided Focused ultrasound or MRI high intensity Focused ultrasound). HIFU is used presently for treating Fibroids and many forms of cancer. Lot of developments are being happening, these include the use of HIFU for treatment of brain tumour and other types of cancer cells . This technique is relatively safe and radiation free hence it attracts lot of attention in recent times.MRI HIFU could be a standard treatment mode for next 10 years. The future is certainly bright for MRI “ be it in traditional diagnostic imaging, in therapy, or on a molecular level.

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