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Philips introduces new MRI functionalities

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | April 24, 2013
(Courtesy Philips Healthcare)
Philips Healthcare's latest effort to expand its MRI portfolio seeks to address the challenges of an aging population and the economic pressures health care providers are up against today.

Through a close collaboration with clinicians and researchers, including Phoenix Children's Hospital and the University Medical Center, Utrecht in the Netherlands, Philips is introducing four new functionalities that will eventually be available on all its MRI systems.

"Imaging gets more and more demanding, since more patients need health care, and also costs need to go down," Paul Folkers, head of marketing for Premium MRI at Philips Healthcare, told DOTmed News by e-mail. "The clinical practice needs to make more decisions in a shorter time. For that they need to have more clinical functionality as well as support in their clinical routine."

The new functionalities include pseudo-Continuous Arterial Spin Labeling (pCASL) that uses arterial water instead of contrast agent to assess changes in brain perfusion; Susceptibility Weighted Imaging with Phase difference (SWIp) with high SNR performance to allow shorter scan times going from typically 5 minutes to 2:30 minutes; mDIXON TSE, which separates water and fat signals and provides two contrasts in one scan thereby reducing the total procedure time; and mDIXON Quant which may remove the need for invasive liver biopsies and instead uses a 3-D technique for liver fat information in one breath hold.

"Most important is the impact on the clinical decisions that can be made. For example, one can do a scan without contrast agent. This not only helps workflow, but also patients with contraindications of contrast agents can now be scanned," said Folkers.

All the functionalities are available on Philips Ingenia systems, and will be available on all Philips MRI systems by end of this year, according to Philips.

The two functionalities that are pending 510(k) clearance are: SWIp and mDIXON Quant.

All functionalities are being showcased at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine's (ISMRM) 21st Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Salt Lake City this week.

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