Inversion Recovery with On-Resonant Water Suppression
JHU researchers have developed a new technology entitled, "IRON", which stands for Inversion Recovery ON-resonant water suppression. IRON is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method that is designed to image magnetic susceptibility gradients primarily associated with non-diamagnetic objects such as iron-based contrast agents, iron loaded cells, and medical devices (e.g., stents and catheters) with positive contrast. The invention also should enhance imaging of susceptibility interfaces between air and tissue or fluid and tissue (e.g., lung/heart interface). Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) This invention has the potential to be commercially useful in a number of applications. The invention offers the potential to make MR-compatible devices visible as hyperintense signal enhancement similar to standard x-ray interventional devices. As such, IRON may be beneficial in experiments requiring cell tracking. In addition, the invention may be applicable to magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) techniques, where paramagnetic and superparamagnetic contrast agents are being developed to improve noninvasive vascular imaging. The invention may be used to detect iron storage diseases such as hemochromatosis and thalassemia. MRI methods have been used to noninvasively assess iron overload in the liver and heart, thereby overcoming sampling errors and allowing more frequent testing. The invention may provide a more sensitive, noninvasive measurement of hepatic iron concentration by enhancing signal from iron storage areas. The invention might also be used in a manner similar to BOLD MRI, where differences in blood oxygenation modulate signal intensity. Based on the observed changes in the magnetic susceptibility of the blood and tissue, the invention may be useful in these applications and potentially may enable imaging to be performed at lower field strengths. Other possible biological uses of the invention may be in the detection of clots and hemorrhage where red blood cells have aggregated and/or lysed resulting in local changes in iron compartmentalization. It may also be useful in imaging lung pathology where air/tissue interfaces produce magnetic susceptibility gradients. Finally, an interesting technical application may be for the development of improved MR navigator imaging methods. The invention could be used to enhance the border definition between the diaphragm and the lungs by exploiting their inherent magnetic susceptibility mismatch.
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