Emerging MRI techniques in oncology

Author(s): Dr Anubhav Datta

Hospital: University of Manchester

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 578, 11


The utility of MRI as a non-invasive and ionising radiation free test is clearly recognised in oncology. Conventional MRI utilises the abundance of hydrogen (1H) nuclei in water and fat molecules in the human body. This ‘proton density’ tends to be similar across different tissues and, along with two other tissue characteristics (T1 and T2), determines the inherent tissue contrast. Under a static magnetic field (B0), various radio frequency (RF) pulses are used to alter the spin-relaxation rates of tissues and generate the weighted image contrasts seen in clinical practice. The search for novel image contrasts to further probe human physiology and pathology has been the driving force for research in the MRI community. Although other nuclei such as carbon (13C) and phosphorus (31P) can be imaged, this article focuses on emerging techniques using 1H MRI.

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