Hong Kong Med J 2008;14:90-6 | Number 2, April 2008
Magnetic resonance whole body imaging at 3 Tesla: feasibility and findings in a cohort of asymptomatic medical doctors
Gladys G Lo, KM Au-Yeung, Victor Ai, John KF Chan, KW Li, Daisy Chien
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, 2 Village Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To evaluate the feasibility of whole body imaging using a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner without a contrast agent, and to study the prevalence of abnormal findings among a cohort of asymptomatic doctors.
DESIGN. Prospective study.
SETTING. Private hospital, Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. A total of 132 asymptomatic medical doctors (111 men, 21 women), with a mean age of 56 (range, 38-82) years, volunteered for the study. They underwent corresponding whole body imaging at our hospital between October 2005 and February 2006. Imaging involved a 3 Tesla magnetic resonance scanner with 32 channels, parallel imaging, Total Imaging Matrix technology, a maximum gradient amplitude of 40 mT/m and a slew rate of 200 mT/m/ms (Magnetom Tim Trio, Siemens Medical Solution, Erlangen, Germany). The use of matrix coils enabled coverage of the whole body. No contrast agent was used.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Detection of abnormalities in asymptomatic, apparently healthy adults.
RESULTS. All examinations were completed successfully. The mean scan time per subject was 33 (standard deviation, 4) minutes. All subjects tolerated the examination well and overall imaging quality was satisfactory. A total of 124 (94%) subjects had positive findings, of whom 24 (18%) had further workup. Five (4%) subjects were found to have tumours, of which two (1.5%) were proven malignant. Our cancer detection rate was comparable to that of other reported whole body screening studies using contrast magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography.
CONCLUSION. We demonstrated the feasibility of performing whole body imaging in 30 minutes, using 32-channel magnetic resonance imaging at 3 Tesla without a contrast agent or any ionising radiation.
Key words: Image interpretation, computed-assisted; Magnetic resonance imaging; Whole body imaging
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