An MR scan in 5 minutes?

September 1, 2011

Imagine you could do an MR scanner in 5 minutes and get all the image types that you need.
SyntheticMR offers a product called SyMRI that does just that: “On the MR scanner a special sequence is introduced that results in the measurement of the absolute MR parameters.Based on these parameters T1- and T2-weighted image can be generated without rescanning. As each tissue has its own unique combination of parameters, the anatomy can automatically be segmented into various tissue components”.
The quantification scan is a multi-slice, multi-echo, multi-saturation delay sequence that is able to retrieve T1 and T2 relaxation, proton density and the B1 field in one scan.
Whether this is the future of MRI, only time and clinical studies will tell, but it looks promising.


The past SIIM has presented some of the challenges and advances in Imaging Informatics in Medicine. The increasing costs in healthcare are driving the developments of more efficient ways of dealing with imaging data.
One of the fields that have experienced a tremendous development is 3D and the thin-client software, now performing almost as well as thick-clients. Thin clients are also available on on low-end hardware such as iPads and laptops, as well as work better on networks with low bandwidth and high latency. However, the workflow isn’t yet as efficient as it should be, especially in communication with RIS and PACS.
Another huge improvement comes from structured reporting format, although not yet fully integrated with RIS and PACS.
Storage is one of the challenges of digital imaging in Medicine. Cloud computing, which employs Internet-based servers for processing, storage, and secure transmission provides simple and secure cross-enterprise communication at low costs. Being internet-based, it supports multiple platforms, remote access, etc.
Digital Radiography has also experienced a lot of development in the recent years. Flat-panel digital detectors, digital tomosynthesis and CT conebeam acquisition used in interventional radiology, are just some examples. Point-of-service DR imaging is also possible, with image acquisition, processing, and display performed bedside or in the operating room. Hanging protocols will be the key to increase efficiency.

Nevertheless, a reporting-centric workflow is not yet available. Many pieces of the puzzle are already in place, but the multimedia imaging report, which uses all available data and media to create and distribute imaging information is not there yet.

MRI patient throughput and CT dose reduction is not just a matter of improving the scan speed and technique. The new advanced image processing algorithms could also play a very important role.
A collaborative study between ContextVision AB, SharpView AB, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) will investigate advanced 3D image filtering as a means of increasing patient throughput and improving image quality in MRI and further enabling dose reduction in CT. Researchers will compare state-of-the-art 3D techniques with 2D filters. For more information, please visit