A Low-Cost, High Quality MRI Breast Scanner Using Prepolarization
STANFORD UNIV CA
Pagination or Media Count:
Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI has been shown to be more sensitive and equally specific when compared to x-ray mammography for detecting breast cancer. MRI is non-invasive, completely non-toxic, and requires no uncomfortable breast compression. But an x-ray mammogram costs about 100 whereas an MRI study costs about 1500. The exam cost is related to the scanners manufacturing cost about 400,000 and sale price about 1 to 3 Million. X-ray mammography units cost about one tenth of the cost of an MRI scanner. Our objective is to tailor a new concept in MRI called Prepolarized MRI PMRI for low-cost MR mammography. PMRI substitutes two inexpensive pulsed magnets for the expensive superconducting magnet. We believe that a high-quality MRI breast scanner using prepolarization could be manufactured for less than 45,000. This project could potentially make MRI as affordable as x-ray mammography. We have made considerable progress this year in realizing a working PMRI scanner. Indeed, we recently obtained our first in vivo human wrist images with our 0.4 T prototype scanner. While the image quality of our prototype scanner is not yet of clinical quality, the results are very promising considering the total cost of the magnets was less than 30,000.
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