Lightweight, compact, and high-performance 3T MR system for imaging the brain and extremities

Thomas K.F. Foo, Evangelos Laskaris, Mark Vermilyea, Minfeng Xu, Paul Thompson, Gene Conte, Christopher Van Epps, Christopher Immer, Seung Kyun Lee, Ek T. Tan, Dominic Graziani, Jean Baptise Mathieu, Christopher J. Hardy, John F. Schenck, Eric Fiveland, Wolfgang Stautner, Justin Ricci, Joseph Piel, Keith Park, Yihe HuaYe Bai, Alex Kagan, David Stanley, Paul T. Weavers, Erin Gray, Yunhong Shu, Matthew A. Frick, Norbert G Campeau, Joshua D Trazasko, John III Huston, Matthew A Bernstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To build and evaluate a small-footprint, lightweight, high-performance 3T MRI scanner for advanced brain imaging with image quality that is equal to or better than conventional whole-body clinical 3T MRI scanners, while achieving substantial reductions in installation costs. Methods: A conduction-cooled magnet was developed that uses less than 12liters of liquid helium in a gas-charged sealed system, and standard NbTi wire, and weighs approximately 2000kg. A 42-cm inner-diameter gradient coil with asymmetric transverse axes was developed to provide patient access for head and extremity exams, while minimizing magnet-gradient interactions that adversely affect image quality. The gradient coil was designed to achieve simultaneous operation of 80-mT/m peak gradient amplitude at a slew rate of 700T/m/s on each gradient axis using readily available 1-MVA gradient drivers. Results: In a comparison of anatomical imaging in 16 patients using T2-weighted 3D fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) between the compact 3T and whole-body 3T, image quality was assessed as equivalent to or better across several metrics. The ability to fully use a high slew rate of 700T/m/s simultaneously with 80-mT/m maximum gradient amplitude resulted in improvements in image quality across EPI, DWI, and anatomical imaging of the brain. Conclusions: The compact 3T MRI system has been in continuous operation at the Mayo Clinic since March 2016. To date, over 200 patient studies have been completed, including 96 comparison studies with a clinical 3T whole-body MRI. The increased gradient performance has reliably resulted in consistently improved image quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Neuroimaging
Extremities
Magnets
Helium
Aptitude
Body Image
Gases
Head
Costs and Cost Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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Lightweight, compact, and high-performance 3T MR system for imaging the brain and extremities. / Foo, Thomas K.F.; Laskaris, Evangelos; Vermilyea, Mark; Xu, Minfeng; Thompson, Paul; Conte, Gene; Van Epps, Christopher; Immer, Christopher; Lee, Seung Kyun; Tan, Ek T.; Graziani, Dominic; Mathieu, Jean Baptise; Hardy, Christopher J.; Schenck, John F.; Fiveland, Eric; Stautner, Wolfgang; Ricci, Justin; Piel, Joseph; Park, Keith; Hua, Yihe; Bai, Ye; Kagan, Alex; Stanley, David; Weavers, Paul T.; Gray, Erin; Shu, Yunhong; Frick, Matthew A.; Campeau, Norbert G; Trazasko, Joshua D; Huston, John III; Bernstein, Matthew A.

In: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 01.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Foo, TKF, Laskaris, E, Vermilyea, M, Xu, M, Thompson, P, Conte, G, Van Epps, C, Immer, C, Lee, SK, Tan, ET, Graziani, D, Mathieu, JB, Hardy, CJ, Schenck, JF, Fiveland, E, Stautner, W, Ricci, J, Piel, J, Park, K, Hua, Y, Bai, Y, Kagan, A, Stanley, D, Weavers, PT, Gray, E, Shu, Y, Frick, MA, Campeau, NG, Trazasko, JD, Huston, JIII & Bernstein, MA 2018, 'Lightweight, compact, and high-performance 3T MR system for imaging the brain and extremities', Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.27175
Foo, Thomas K.F. ; Laskaris, Evangelos ; Vermilyea, Mark ; Xu, Minfeng ; Thompson, Paul ; Conte, Gene ; Van Epps, Christopher ; Immer, Christopher ; Lee, Seung Kyun ; Tan, Ek T. ; Graziani, Dominic ; Mathieu, Jean Baptise ; Hardy, Christopher J. ; Schenck, John F. ; Fiveland, Eric ; Stautner, Wolfgang ; Ricci, Justin ; Piel, Joseph ; Park, Keith ; Hua, Yihe ; Bai, Ye ; Kagan, Alex ; Stanley, David ; Weavers, Paul T. ; Gray, Erin ; Shu, Yunhong ; Frick, Matthew A. ; Campeau, Norbert G ; Trazasko, Joshua D ; Huston, John III ; Bernstein, Matthew A. / Lightweight, compact, and high-performance 3T MR system for imaging the brain and extremities. In: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. 2018.
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AU - Foo, Thomas K.F.

AU - Laskaris, Evangelos

AU - Vermilyea, Mark

AU - Xu, Minfeng

AU - Thompson, Paul

AU - Conte, Gene

AU - Van Epps, Christopher

AU - Immer, Christopher

AU - Lee, Seung Kyun

AU - Tan, Ek T.

AU - Graziani, Dominic

AU - Mathieu, Jean Baptise

AU - Hardy, Christopher J.

AU - Schenck, John F.

AU - Fiveland, Eric

AU - Stautner, Wolfgang

AU - Ricci, Justin

AU - Piel, Joseph

AU - Park, Keith

AU - Hua, Yihe

AU - Bai, Ye

AU - Kagan, Alex

AU - Stanley, David

AU - Weavers, Paul T.

AU - Gray, Erin

AU - Shu, Yunhong

AU - Frick, Matthew A.

AU - Campeau, Norbert G

AU - Trazasko, Joshua D

AU - Huston, John III

AU - Bernstein, Matthew A

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N2 - Purpose: To build and evaluate a small-footprint, lightweight, high-performance 3T MRI scanner for advanced brain imaging with image quality that is equal to or better than conventional whole-body clinical 3T MRI scanners, while achieving substantial reductions in installation costs. Methods: A conduction-cooled magnet was developed that uses less than 12liters of liquid helium in a gas-charged sealed system, and standard NbTi wire, and weighs approximately 2000kg. A 42-cm inner-diameter gradient coil with asymmetric transverse axes was developed to provide patient access for head and extremity exams, while minimizing magnet-gradient interactions that adversely affect image quality. The gradient coil was designed to achieve simultaneous operation of 80-mT/m peak gradient amplitude at a slew rate of 700T/m/s on each gradient axis using readily available 1-MVA gradient drivers. Results: In a comparison of anatomical imaging in 16 patients using T2-weighted 3D fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) between the compact 3T and whole-body 3T, image quality was assessed as equivalent to or better across several metrics. The ability to fully use a high slew rate of 700T/m/s simultaneously with 80-mT/m maximum gradient amplitude resulted in improvements in image quality across EPI, DWI, and anatomical imaging of the brain. Conclusions: The compact 3T MRI system has been in continuous operation at the Mayo Clinic since March 2016. To date, over 200 patient studies have been completed, including 96 comparison studies with a clinical 3T whole-body MRI. The increased gradient performance has reliably resulted in consistently improved image quality.

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