Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In

Hyperpolarization MRI Scanning Technology Can Visualize Metabolic Changes

By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 06 Mar 2014
Image: Researchers can now follow metabolic changes by using a new MRI scanning technique. (Photo courtesy of Aurhus University).
Image: Researchers can now follow metabolic changes by using a new MRI scanning technique. (Photo courtesy of Aurhus University).
Danish researchers have revealed that a new scanning technique can visualize metabolic changes that have until now remained invisible, while they are actually occurring.

The development of the hyperpolarization technique in 2003 by Danish scientists was a trailblazing moment that made it possible to see all the body’s cells with the help of a new contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The researchers have now taken another big leap towards a better determination of the body’s cells and with it also the developmental inner workings of the disease processes.

“With the hyperpolarization method, sensitivity to specific contrast agents is up to 10,000 times higher than with a traditional MRI scanning. What we have now documented is that with the hyperpolarization MRI scanning we can not only see the differences in the metabolic patterns between healthy and ill, but we now can also see the metabolic changes as a consequence of acute influences while they are taking place in the diabetic kidneys. It is really groundbreaking,” said Dr. Christoffer Laustsen, an assistant professor from Aarhus University (Denmark).

This finding came from research of the connection between oxygen level and the development of kidney disease in rats with and without diabetes. The findings were published December 18, 2013, in the international journal Kidney International. Although the sophisticated hyperpolarization technology was first utilized to validate metabolic changes in the kidneys, it will be possible to use it to glean more clues into the development of diseases in all of the body’s organs.

Dr. Laustsen, noted, “With this method we will have a fingerprint of the cells and we will be able to follow whether these fingerprints change over time, regardless of which organs we examine. We will, for example, be able to see whether complications related to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are emerging, or how a cancer tumor develops. And with greater knowledge of what is always going on at the cellular level we will be able to make a diagnosis earlier than we can today, and we will also be able to tailor treatment to the individual patient to a greater extent.”

The benefits of hyperpolarization scanning is not only that it provides in much more precise detail about what is occurring in the body. The new technology can also demonstrate itself to be very important specifically for the smallest patients. “Another great advantage of this method is that this is quite harmless. The contrast agent for the hyperpolarization scanning is sugar-based, so there is no risk of the body tissues being exposed to radiation. It will therefore be possible to scan children more often than today,” said Dr. Laustsen.

The studies of metabolic changes at the cellular level have so far been carried out on rats. However, Dr. Laustsen expects that researchers in Denmark will be ready to offer diagnostic examination of patients within two to three years.

Related Links:

Aarhus University



view channel

Tomosynthesis Technology Advances Specimen Radiography

A groundbreaking system for digital specimen radiography allows for multiplanar X-ray imaging for thorough margin analysis of excised breast tissue. The Mozart 3D specimen radiography system is based on patent-pending TomoSpec digital specimen tomosynthesis, a novel modality that reconstructs three dimensional (3D) tomographic... Read more


view channel
Image: The Vivid T8 cardiovascular ultrasound system offers quantitative features such as stress echo and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) capabilities (Photo courtesy of GE Healthcare).

Mobile, Cardiovascular Ultrasound Features Stress Echo and Transesophageal Echocardiography Capabilities

A 58.5-kg mobile cardiovascular ultrasound system features innovative quantitative features such as stress echo, and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) capabilities, designed for healthcare providers... Read more

Nuclear medicine

view channel

Proton Therapy Has Better Outcome over IMRT for Advanced Head and Neck Cancers

Radiation oncologists compared the world’s literature on outcomes of proton beam therapy in the treatment of a range of advanced head and neck cancers of the skull base compared to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and found that proton beam therapy significantly improved disease-free survival and tumor control... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: Participant fitted with fNIRS headgear (Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences).

Portable Optical Imaging Tool Designed for Concussion Evaluation

Researchers have demonstrated that a portable, low-cost optical imaging application is useful in evaluation of concussions. Two separate research projects, published recently, represent important steps... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel

Virtual Finger Helps Study 3D Images Faster

A new digital navigation technology allows users to sift through three-dimensional (3D) images more efficiently and comprehensively than previous technology. The Virtual Finger (VF), developed at the Allen Institute for Brain Science (Seattle, WA, USA), aids scientists and researchers move through digital images of small... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Hosting and Distribution Collaboration Established to Provide Radiation Dose Monitoring

PHS Technologies Group, LLC (Scottsdale, AZ, USA), a unit of PACSHealth, LLC, and a developer of software that monitors patient exposure to ionizing radiation, reported that Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences (Round Rock, TX, USA) will become a marketing, distribution, and hosting partner for its DoseMonitor OnLine software.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.