A recent study revealed an improved algorithm that significantly facilitates the generation and interpretation of full-body MRI scans, particularly in the abdominal region. The algorithm reduces artifacts that affect the image quality.
Dr. Candice Bookwalter, presenting author for the study, said that motion artifacts, resulting mainly from patient movement, affect the quality of MRI scans. "Almost every acquisition during an MR abdominal exam requires a breath hold to limit motion. For example, a routine liver exam includes at least nine breath holds. Even with fast imaging techniques, these breath holds are often long and difficult for patients, and failed breath holds are almost always identified only after image acquisition. This is particularly problematic in timed post-contrast imaging," explains Dr. Bookwalter.
The Motion Artifact Removal was developed by Retrospective Resolution Reduction (MARs) algorithm. MARs identifies the transition between a breath hold and free breathing, allowing better retrospective reviews of the image and reducing the need for additional imaing. "MARs detected and removed motion corrupted data automatically in our asymptomatic volunteers and patients, which improved the overall image quality," said Dr. Bookwalter.
The study took place at the University Hospital at Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University. The research team applied the MARs algorithm successfully to provide radiologists with useful images even during patients motion.
Dr. Bookwalter is confident that MARs algorithm will be a useful application for MRI image interpretation. She explained "The MARs algorithm requires very little alteration of the clinical MR protocol. We envision the final application of this technique to be completely automatic and likely applied by the clinical technologist prior to presentation to the radiologist."
Dr. Bookwalter will discuss her study today during a presentation at the 2011 ARRS Annual Meeting taking place in Chicago.