Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In

MRI/NRS Technology Designed for Imaging Dense Breast Abnormalities

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 04 Feb 2014
Image: Overview of the MRI/near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system. The NIRS system is housed in the MRI control room (a) and light is piped into the MRI suite for patient imaging using fiber optic cables (b). A combined MRI/NIRS breast coil (c) makes simultaneous MRI and NIRS imaging possible (Photo courtesy of Norris Cotton Cancer Center).
Image: Overview of the MRI/near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) system. The NIRS system is housed in the MRI control room (a) and light is piped into the MRI suite for patient imaging using fiber optic cables (b). A combined MRI/NIRS breast coil (c) makes simultaneous MRI and NIRS imaging possible (Photo courtesy of Norris Cotton Cancer Center).
Engineers and radiologists are developing a new application for diagnostic imaging of dense breasts with suspicious lesions. The magnetic resonance imaging/near-infrared spectroscopy (MRI/NIRS) technique offers greater flexibility, speed, and accuracy than existing imaging modalities. The new technology also shows potential for enhancing MRI’s ability to differentiate cancer from benign abnormalities.

Combined MRI/NIRS may benefit women whose mammogram showed an abnormality and requires additional testing to rule out cancer. The scanning would be conducted before an invasive biopsy to search for tumors. For the new technology to perform effectively in routine patient care, MRI/NIRS must adapt to an individual’s body size as well as accommodate a range of cup sizes. The equipment must also mobilize and maintain contact with the breast.

An MRI/NIRS may provide certain advantages to women with dense breasts, who are more prone to develop and die from breast cancer. A dense breast is more difficult for a radiologist to “see through” when using standard imaging equipment, which lacks the sensitivity to penetrate the dense tissue. Conventional breast screening is effective 77%–97% of the time in a normal breast, but when a breast is dense precision falls to 63%–89%.

Earlier techniques for MRI/NIRS used parallel plates and required custom breast molds for each patient. Biomedical engineers developed a new, more flexible, convenient, and comfortable approach. They designed a set of eight light transmitting cables that can be adjusted to surround the breast with light tension. A woman lies on her stomach and the breast hangs suspended through the holes of the MRI/NIRS breast coil. The procedure is nearly the same as clinical MRI scanning.

Eight women participated in the study of this new design the findings of which were published in the February 2014 issue of Academic Radiology. “We found that the new interface allowed us to target lesions more effectively than ever before,” said Dr. Michael Mastanduno, from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University (Hanover, NH, USA) and corresponding author of the study. “Set up time was faster and images were of higher quality.”

The Dartmouth MRI/NIRS technology offers increased coverage of the chest, giving providers improved visibility for “hard to see” areas, such as the neighboring region of the breast near the armpit. “This work is a huge improvement on previous designs of MRI/NIRS systems. All breast sizes and lesion locations can now be effectively imaged. Though there is more work to be done, this technology is promising for improving MRI’s ability to distinguish cancer from benign abnormalities,” said Dr. Mastanduno.

In the next phase of the study, Dartmouth researchers will assess MRI/NIRS in women with suspicious lesions.

Related Links:

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University



view channel
Image: The TheraCyte cell encapsulation device (Photo courtesy of TheraCyte, Inc.).

Encapsulated Human-Insulin-Producing Progenitor Cells Cure Diabetes in Mouse Model

A breakthrough system that allows subcutaneous implantation of encapsulated immature pancreatic cells (beta progenitor cells) was shown to produce enough insulin to correct the symptoms of diabetes in a mouse model.... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: Chitosan is derived from the shells of shrimp and other sea crustaceans, including Alaskan pink shrimp, pictured here (Photo courtesy of NOAA - [US] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

Chitosan Treatment Clears the Way for Antibiotics to Eliminate Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

Recurrent urinary tract infection was successfully resolved in a mouse model by treatment with the exfoliant chitosan followed by a round of antibiotics. Bacterial urinary tract infection (UTI), most... Read more


view channel

Mitochondrial Cause of Aging Can Be Reversed

Researchers have found a cause of aging in lab animals that can be reversed, possibly providing an avenue for new treatments for age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, muscle wasting, and inflammatory diseases. The researchers plan to begin human trials late 2014. The study, which was published December... Read more


view channel

Cytokine Identified That Causes Mucositis in Cancer Therapy Patients

The action of the cytokine interleukin 1-beta (IL-1beta) has been found to underlie the onset of mucositis, a common, severe side effect of chemotherapy and irradiation of cancer patients. Mucositis occurs as a result of cell death in reaction to chemo- or radiotherapy. The mucosal lining of the mouth becomes thin, may... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel
Image: Diagram of the apparatus for testing drug solubility (Photo courtesy of the University of Huddersfield).

Novel Apparatus Mimics the Human Digestive System for Oral Drug Studies

A team of British drug developers has created an instrument that mimics the human digestive system, which will allow them to accurately determine how orally-administered medications are dissolved and then absorbed.... Read more


view channel

Analytical Sciences Trade Fair Declared a Rousing Success

Organizers of this year's 24th "analytica" biosciences trade fair have reported significant increases in both the number of visitors and exhibitors compared to the 2012 event. The analytica trade fair for laboratory technology, analysis, and biotechnology has been held at the Munich (Germany) Trade Fair Center every... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.