In the direction where the phased array coil used in parallel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is perpendicular to the arrangement, sensitivity falls significantly. Moreover, in a 3.0 tesla (3T) abdominal MRI, the quality of the image is reduced by changes in the relaxation time, reinforcement of the magnetic susceptibility effect, etc. In a 3T MRI, which has a high resonant frequency, the signal of the depths (central part) is reduced in the trunk part. SCIC, which is sensitivity correction processing, has inadequate correction processing, such as that edges are emphasized and the central part is corrected. Therefore, we used 3T with a Gaussian distribution. The uneven compensation processing for sensitivity of an abdomen MR image was considered. The correction processing consisted of the following methods. 1) The center of gravity of the domain of the human body in an abdomen MR image was calculated. 2) The correction coefficient map was created from the center of gravity using the Gaussian distribution. 3) The sensitivity correction image was created from the correction coefficient map and the original picture image. Using the Gaussian correction to process the image, the uniformity calculated using the NEMA method was improved significantly compared to the original image of a phantom. In a visual evaluation by radiologists, the uniformity was improved significantly using the Gaussian correction processing. Because of the homogeneous improvement of the abdomen image taken using 3T MRI, the Gaussian correction processing is considered to be a very useful technique.
We have reported that the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was correlated with bone mineral density, but the relation between the restricted diffusion of the water molecules and the trabecular bone structure was unclear. The purpose of our study is to clarify this relationship using two component analyses with an original phantom. With an increase in the interspace area of the simulated trabecular bone, the ADC of the fast component was increased, and the fraction of the fast component was also increased. On the other hand, with an increase in the interspace area of the simulated trabecular bone, the ADC of the slow component was decreased, and the fraction of the slow component was increased. Moreover, the ADC and fraction of the dry vertebral bone agreed with those of the simulated trabecular bone. This result means that our phantoms can reproduce the actual trabecular bone structure, which induces the restricted diffusion. The diffusion of the water molecules was separated into fast and slow components because of the restricted diffusion of the trabecular bone structure. Our original phantom enables analyzing restricted diffusion, and this analytical method obtains more detailed information on trabecular bone structure.
For head computed tomography (CT), non-helical scanning has been recommended even in the widely used multi-slice CT (MSCT). Also, an acute stroke imaging standardization group has recommended the non-helical mode in Japan. However, no detailed comparison has been reported for current MSCT with more than 16 slices. In this study, we compared the non-helical and helical modes for head CT, focusing on temporal resolution and motion artifacts. The temporal resolution was evaluated by using temporal sensitivity profiles (TSPs) measured using a temporal impulse method. In both modes, the TSPs and temporal modulation transfer factors (MTFs) were measured for various pitch factors using 64-slice CT (Aquilion 64, Toshiba). Two motion phantoms were scanned to evaluate motion artifacts, and then quantitative analyses for motion artifacts and helical artifacts were performed by measuring multiple regions of interest (ROIs) in the phantom images. In addition, the rates of artifact occurrence for retrospective clinical cases were compared. The temporal resolution increased as the pitch factor was increased. Remarkable streak artifacts appeared in the non-helical images of the motion phantom, in spite of the equivalent effective temporal resolution. In clinical analysis, results consistent with the phantom studies were shown. These results indicated that the low pitch helical mode would be effective for emergency head CT with patient movement.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between partial electrical reset (PER) and CT scan parameters (tube voltage, tube current, rotation time, and product of tube current and rotation time in mAs). A cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker (Insync 8040, Medtronic Inc., Tokyo) and 320 area detector CT scanner (Aquilion ONE, Toshiba medical systems, Otawara, Japan) with volume scan were used. The pacemaker was put in DDD mode. The PERs were interpreted using both the programmer’s wave forms and error messages. The exposure was repeated 5 times per CT setting. The pacemaker was placed on the anterior wall and upper side of a chest phantom. Each CT scan was performed using the following parameters: tube voltage of 80, 100, 120, and 135 kV; tube current of 50–550 mA; and rotation time of 0.35–1.5 s. PERs were observed at 100, 120, and 135 kV, and more PERs were observed as the tube voltage increased. The PER tube current decreased as the rotation time was increased. In contrast, the PER tube current and rotation time product (mAs) increased as the rotation time was increased. More specifically, the radiation dose rate was the affected factor of the PERs. To avoid PER of pacemakers, CT scan parameters with lower radiation dose rates (low rather than high tube current and rotational time) is recommended. In conclusion, our results will help with CT scans of patients who have implantable cardiac devices (included pacemakers and cardioverter defibrillators).
The purposes of this study were to determine optimum flip angles (FAs) and to compare the effectiveness of fat suppression and signal homogeneity among three techniques, spectral attenuated with inversion recovery (SPAIR), principle of selective excitation technique (PROSET), and three-point DIXON technique (DIXON), of the bilateral breast dynamic sequence acquired using the optimum FA at 3.0 T. Using a homemade phantom that represented a tumor, fat, and a mammary gland, the optimum FAs were determined from the change of fat signal intensity, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the mammary gland, and contrast ratio (CR) between the tumor and mammary gland. The effectiveness of fat suppression and signal homogeneity were compared in ten breast cancer cases, using the CR between fat and pectoralis muscle signal intensities and the standard deviation (SD) of fat signal intensity, respectively. The optimum FAs for SPAIR, PROSET, and DIXON were 10, 20, and 20 degrees, respectively. The mean CR between fat and pectoralis muscle signal intensities achieved using SPAIR, PROSET, and DIXON were 0.19, 0.30 and 0.40, respectively, and the mean SDs of the fat signal intensities were 90.2, 103.1, and 30.5, respectively. The DIXON technique provided better fat suppression and signal homogeneity than the other two techniques. The results of this study suggest the possible application of the DIXON technique in combination with the optimum FA setting as an effective fat suppression technique for the bilateral breast dynamic sequence at 3.0 T.
Apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) are sometimes overestimated when they are measured in the brain near the basal ganglia because water molecules in brain tissues fluctuate with blood volume loading in the cranium. We determined detailed ADC changes during the cardiac cycle to evaluate the appropriate cardiac phases for accurate measurement of ADC values. Using 1.5 T MRI, we performed ECG-triggered single-shot EPI to obtain ADC maps in each cardiac phase using techniques minimizing the bulk motion effect. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the ADC values during the cardiac cycle was over 50% near the basal ganglia. Moreover, the cardiac phase of the peak ADC value during the cardiac cycle was from 10 to 40% cardiac phases that follow systole. However, the CV of the ADC values of whole cardiac phases was higher than those with phases over 50% of the cardiac cycle near the basal ganglia because the effect of water fluctuation was almost eliminated. Therefore, accurate measurement of ADC values should be obtained from ADC maps of phases over 50% of the cardiac cycle.
Myocardial delayed enhancement imaging must regulate inversion time (TI) so that the signal intensity of the normal myocardium becomes null, and look-locker imaging is performed prior to myocardial delayed enhancement imaging to determine the optimal TI. We think that the null point measured by look-locker imaging may change with the adjustment of some imaging parameters like the IR-T1TFE sequence used in myocardial delayed enhancement imaging. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine the change of the null point with the adjustment of some imaging parameters for look-locker imaging and to study factors affecting the consistency of the null point with the IR-T1TFE sequence. The null point of both sequences of look-locker imaging and the IR-T1TFE sequence changed with the RR interval and with the number, FA, and interval of RF pulses applied within the RR interval. To match the null points in both sequences, it is necessary to make the RR intervals the same and to match the number, FA, and interval of RF pulses applied to within 1 heartbeat.
Our university hospital has had a policy of electronic patient recordkeeping, replacing paper-based recordkeeping, since September 1, 2008. Because the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology had already been using computed radiography for X-ray systems except for intraoral radiography and storing data in Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) format, the following three conditions form the basis of the changes we made in relation to the introduction of this policy. We started 1. using imaging plates for intraoral radiography as well and storing the data in DICOM format; 2. diagnosed without the need for film; and 3. referred to past images displayed on the screen of our Radiology Information System (RIS). The introduction of digital intraoral radiography has many advantages: not only does it not require film and can all past images be referred to on the screen of the RIS, but radiation exposure times are also shorter, images can be saved electronically, and thus, film processing is redundant. The system improves efficiency and is also advantageous to patients and staff in other departments.
This study focused on measuring examinees’ muscle activities during mammography positioning using surface electromyography. Muscle activities were measured in three women (40–50s) in two-view mammography (MLO: mediolateral oblique, CC: craniocaudal). The muscles measured were the sternocleidomastoid, biceps, trapezius, and gastrocnemius, selected based on the visual analogue scale reported by Sharp et al. We used a multi-purpose portable bio-amplifier (Polymate AP1000) to assess the muscle activities. The results showed that the trapezius in right MLO and sternocleidomastoid in right CC were active in all three subjects. This suggests that the muscles directly related to mammography positioning are highly active. In addition, the gastrocnemius was active throughout the mammography. The biceps and gastrocnemius were also active in at least one of the three women. We believe that quantitative assessment of muscle activities during mammography positioning will contribute to the improvement of pain-reduction programs in mammography.