Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain
|MRI of brain and brain stem|
|OPS-301 code||3-800, 3-820|
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the nervous system uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce high quality two- or three-dimensional images of nervous system structures without use of ionizing radiation (X-rays) or radioactive tracers.
The first MR images of a human brain were obtained in 1978 by two groups of researchers at EMI Laboratories leaded by Ian Robert Young and Hugh Clow. In 1986, Charles L. Dumoulin and Howard R. Hart at General Electric developed MR angiography and Denis Le Bihan, obtained the first images and later patented diffusion MRI. In 1990, Seiji Ogawa at AT&T Bell labs recognized that oxygen-depleted blood with dHb was attracted to a magnetic field, and discovered the technique that underlies Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The first study of the human brain at 3.0 T was published in 1994, and in 1998 at 8 T. Studies of the human brain have been performed at up to 9.4 T.
One advantage of MRI of the brain over computed tomography of the head is better tissue contrast, and it has fewer artifacts than CT when viewing the brainstem. MRI is also superior for pituitary imaging. It may however be less effective at identifying early cerebritis.
A number of different imaging modes can be used with imaging the nervous system:
- T1: Cerebrospinal fluid is dark. T1 weighting is useful for visualizing normal anatomy.
- T2: CSF is light, but fat (and thus white matter) is darker than with T1. T2 is useful for visualizing pathology.
- PD (proton density): CSF has a relatively high level of protons, making CSF appear bright. Gray matter is brighter than white matter.
- FLAIR: useful for evaluation of white matter plaques near the ventricles. It is useful in identifying demyelination.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain.|
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