Article from: Fall-Winter 2017



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    By Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology

    New Scanners Mean More Time for Research

    Investigators who use the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR) and the East Building MR Facility can expect greater scheduling flexibility and advanced imaging capabilities thanks to two new MRI scanners and a major upgrade to an existing unit.

    Crane Lifting Vida 3T Scanners
    Above: A crane lifting the seven-ton Vida 3T scanner up ten floors for its installation at the Center for Clinical Imaging Research.

    Two new scanners – a 3T Prisma and 3T Vida by Siemens – were installed in June and August 2017, respectively. And in February 2018, an existing Trio scanner will have an extensive upgrade to a Prisma Fit. The new equipment brings the number of human imaging MRI research scanners up to five, says Pamela K. Woodard, MD, Senior Vice Chair and Division Chief of Radiology Research Facilities.

    The scanners are primarily used for clinical and translational imaging research, though not exclusively by radiologists or medical doctors. Deanna Barch, PhD, professor of psychological and brain sciences at the School of Arts & Sciences at Washington University, is one regular user who benefits from the addition of new and advanced equipment.

    “It’s allowed us to initiate new studies,” says Barch, who examines healthy brain development and differences in brain development associated with schizophrenia and mood disorders such as depression. “The new (3T Prisma) scanner makes it possible for us to expand recruitment and testing for a number of national multi-site studies.”

    While the Prisma Fit upgrade will provide the CCIR with the latest in neuro-magnetic resonance imaging, the Vida scanner is the first of its kind in the U.S.

    “The system has many cutting-edge advantages, including motion correction capabilities, special in-coil shim features that will optimize brain imaging, and elastography for assessment of fibrosis and tissue material properties,” says Woodard. “We’ll be using the scanner in clinical trials and other research studies involving cancer patients and patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, as well as for cardiac imaging.”