Magnetic-field cameras: mapping a path to optimal MRI performance


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Courtesy GE

Made to measure: Metrolab’s MFC2046 camera system is used for magnet “ramping” and detailed field mapping of MRI systems – a combination that saves time and money in the assembly plant and during system installation in the clinic.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a mainstay of medical imaging facilities. Superior soft-tissue contrast versus CT scans and the use of non-ionizing radio waves to visualize a rich matrix of functional information – including blood volume/oxygenation and localized metabolic activity within tumour sites – represent a winning combination for clinicians in the diagnosis and treatment of all manner of diseases.

Underpinning that clinical capability is an array of enabling technologies, the largest and most expensive of which is the cryogenically cooled superconducting magnet that sits at the heart of today’s cutting-edge MRI scanners. Clinical MRI machines typically have a magnetic-field strength in the range 0.1 to 3.0 T – though research systems for human and small-animal applications are available at much higher fields (up to 25 T). In every case, these multimillion-dollar systems require a magnetic field that combines extreme stability with extreme uniformity (to within a few ppm) to ensure optimal imaging performance.

To service that need, Swiss manufacturer Metrolab Technology SA, a market-leader in precision magnetometers, has developed a portfolio of measurement tools and accessories to enable MRI equipment manufacturers to quantify and map the magnetic subsystems at the heart of their clinical MRI scanners. Metrolab’s products are used by MRI equipment vendors throughout the technology and innovation cycle: to support R&D on next-generation systems; in the production and assembly plant; and during the installation of new MRI machines in clinical facilities... Read full article on Physics World!