Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
AMPRONIX
TERARECON, INC.
SCHILLER AG

MRI Application Designed to Tamp Down Noise to a Whisper

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 01 Oct 2013
A group of engineers recently set out to quiet down the noise of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems at the source. They developed a combination of hardware and software called Silent Scan, a neuro acquisition application that brings MR scanner noise near background sound levels approximately 77 decibels.

An MR scanner can generate noise in excess of 110 decibels, enough to rival a rock concert. There is a good reason why this happens. “An MRI scanner is like a huge version of a speaker in your home,” said engineer Bryan Mock, who manages GE Healthcare’s (Chalfont St. Giles, UK) MRI products in Waukesha, IL, USA. “They both have magnets inside and a coil of wire that carries electric current,” Mr. Mock said.

The current that flows through the coil inside the MRI speaker creates a magnetic field that moves a magnet attached to a flexible membrane that creates sound. The MR scanner utilizes changes in the current to generate a magnetic field to image the body. Because the coil and the magnet inside the MRI scanner are fixed in place, the machine does not play classical music, but vibrates and makes noise. MRI manufacturers conventionally reduced the noise by snuffing it out with foam or rubber or foam. “But that’s just covering it up,” Mr. Mock remarked.

“It’s a completely new way to image,” Mr. Mock said. “It’s like going from techno beat to ambient music. They both make you feel good in the end, you just get there differently. Your speaker is still working but the membrane is not moving as much.”

The technology works by minimizing changes in the current during the imaging process. Smoother current means fewer vibrations and less noise. “How we change the magnetic field is really the breakthrough of the Silent Scan technology,” Mr. Mock explained. He noted that the software is altering the current “a tiny amount for every bit of information that we need.”

Newer, stronger hardware helps to reduce the vibrations even further and eliminate bad images and image artifacts. “You need both pieces to work correctly for the machine to be quieter and give good images,” Mr. Mock stated.

Hospitals in Europe and the United States are already working with Silent Scan. Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, MI, USA) was the first hospital in the world to implement the technology. It also used the software as part of research collaboration with GE Healthcare. “The response from our patients has been very gratifying,” said Spectrum Health radiologist Dr. Mark DeLano. “The scans are essentially silent.”

With Silent Scan, patients and families will be able to experience a more relaxing scanning environment even being able to converse during the scan. Silent Scan is available on GE’s 1.5T and 3.0T systems currently available for routine head examinations.

Patients told Dr. DeLano that “the Silent Scans don’t make any noise are greatly preferred compared to the hammering sound of conventional MRI scans. This reduces their anxiety about the procedure.” He noted that that he is “particularly looking forward to providing this to our pediatric patients, claustrophobic patients, and our patients being scanned in the operating room where the noise of the traditional MRI can be disruptive.”

Related Links:

GE Healthcare



RADCAL
SuperSonic Imagine
RTI ELECTRONICS AB

Channels

Radiography

view channel

Leading Cancer Center Among First in Europe to Treat Patients Using Robotic Patient-Positioning Radiotherapy Couch

A Viennese hospital has become one of the first oncology departments in Europe to introduce clinical treatments using a robotic radiotherapy patient-positioning couch. Kaiser-Franz-Josef Hospital (KFJ; Vienna, Austria) has introduced this enhanced patient positioning device, which enables more flexibility during radiotherapy... Read more

Ultrasound

view channel
Image: Very high magnification micrograph of fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma showing the characteristic laminated fibrosis between the tumor cells with a low N/C ratio. H&E stain (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Hepatocellular Carcinoma Screening Linked with Curative Treatment and Longer Survival in Cirrhosis Patients

Investigators discovered that patients with cirrhosis who underwent surveillance (using liver ultrasound with or without measurement of serum alpha fetoprotein) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) had cancers... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel
Image: Micrograph of Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymph node fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimen. Field stain (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Early PET-Negative Stage I/II Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients Show Increased Risk of Early Relapse when Radiotherapy Is Not Used

Analysis of a new study indicates an increased risk of early relapse when excluding radiotherapy in early positron emission tomography (PET) scan-negative patients with stage I/II Hodgkin’s lymphoma.... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel

Secondary Light Emission Generated by Plasmonic Nanostructures May Improve Medical Imaging Technology

New clues into light emission at different wavelengths generated by elements known plasmonic nanostructures may help to improve medical imaging technology. A plasmon is a quantum of plasma oscillation. The plasmon is a quasiparticle resulting from the quantization of plasma oscillations just as photons, and phonons are... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Enterprise Image-Viewing System Receives FDA Clearance for Mobile Diagnosis on All Modalities

An enterprise image-viewing system is now cleared in the United States for diagnosis on mobile devices, for all imaging modalities (except mammography). Calgary Scientific, Inc. (Calgary, AB, USA) recently reported their latest Class II clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Calgary Scientific worked... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Collaboration Expands Capacity for Proton Therapy Clinical Research and Patient Treatments

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, CA, USA) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI; Villigen PSI, Switzerland) are extending an existing collaboration in the field of proton therapy to offer patients more accurate cancer treatments using intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Under the agreement, Varian will also... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.