Europe’s first 7T whole body actively-shielded system now in place for clinical neuroscience and cardiology research
The University of Oxford has installed Europe’s first 7 Tesla whole body actively-shielded MRI system from Siemens Healthcare. The MAGNETOM® 7T MRI is now in place at the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences to assist in research programs to improve understanding of the nervous system in health and disease. A 3 Tesla MAGNETOM Verio was also recently installed at the Centre.
The new 7 Tesla MRI will be primarily used for imaging the structure and function of the brain to advance collaborative work within the University to better understand the healthy human brain and the mechanisms underpinning key diseases of the central nervous system, such as stroke, neurodegeneration, epilepsy, chronic pain and various psychiatric conditions. Another major research topic, in collaboration with the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, will be in studying the heart using both imaging and spectroscopy.
7 Tesla MRI provides the potential for microscopic spatial resolution, visualizing anatomy at a level of detail previously impossible. It also enables the advanced observation and analysis of tissue metabolism and function. As the system is actively shielded, it can be sited on smaller footprint giving positive implications for the future of this high end technology. If such systems can be installed without the weight and size constraints of passively shielded systems, then 7 Tesla MRI could branch out of research institutions and into the clinical field.
“The increased spatial resolution provided by the MAGNETOM 7T MRI enables us to observe and analyse smaller networks of processing units in the brain than is currently possible. This will assist with our neuroscience research efforts into understanding how the human brain works in healthy and diseased states,” said Professor Irene Tracey, Director of the FMRIB Centre.
“When we were in the position to order a 7 Tesla system and update our current 3 Tesla MRI, Siemens was the logical choice,” adds Peter Jezzard, Professor of Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford.
“This pioneering installation will give Oxford researchers the ability to further their efforts by achieving a new level of image detail,” said Jane Kilkenny, MRI Business Manager at Siemens Healthcare. “7 Tesla MRI systems are only installed at around 35 sites globally and actively shielded versions are now an emerging option for UK researchers and clinical sites due to size and weight reductions. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the team at the University of Oxford.”
About Siemens Healthcare
The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world's largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimising clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2011 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 12.5 billion euros and profit of around 1.3 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.
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