Digital MRI improves image clarity,
TORONTO – Health
Canada has approved Philips’s new Ingenia MR solution, which is said to
be the first-ever digital broadband MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
system. Until now, all MRI systems have used analog components for the
signal acquisition and processing needed to generate patient images.
However, the use of analog components during these processes has limited
the upper reaches of image clarity and quality.
Clinicians have long relied on MRI for its exceptional ability to
differentiate various soft tissues. The new all-digital Ingenia from
Philips – available in 1.5T and 3T field strengths – has a number of
leading-edge benefits, the company said.
The Ingenia MR system introduces, for the first time in MRI, digital
signal acquisition and processing directly in the radio frequency (RF)
receive coil nearest to the patient. By digitizing the signal directly
in the RF receive coil and maintaining the digital connection throughout
the entire MRI scanning process, Ingenia is able to generate up to a 40
percent improvement in signal-to-noise ratio.
Improving signal-to-noise ratio enables the delivery of crisp image
clarity that clinicians need to help make informed decisions possible
for a wider range of clinical procedures, including traditional
applications like neuro and musculoskeletal and fast-growing
applications like body and cardiac.
Ingenia’s digital capabilities also overcome many of the limitations
typical of analog based systems. Similar to the transition from
limited-channel analog television to unlimited-channel digital broadband
HD television, the digital signal acquisition and transmission
capability of Ingenia is independent of the number of channels.
Unlike fixed channel analog systems, users can add new and future
clinical applications, which may require higher channel coils, in an
easy and cost-effective way, the company said.
In addition, if a higher channel coil is required for a clinical
procedure, Ingenia’s channel independent architecture is capable of
performing the exam simply by adding the coil, and without requiring expensive hardware and software
upgrades to the MRI system. This gives hospitals the flexibility they
need to stay on the clinical cutting edge, now and in the future.
The posterior coil, used routinely in about 60% of all applications, is
integrated under the patient table and covers from neck to toe for
either feet-first or head first imaging. The posterior coil is not
physically visible to the operator or patient and is deployed
automatically according the demands of the application.
As a result to this innovative design, the posterior coil does not need
to be carried, positioned, connected or exchanged, thereby greatly
simplifying the workflow. It is always there when needed without
occupying additional space within the patient bore.
The anterior coils – placed on top of the patient – are lightweight and
flexibly conform to the patient shape which allows the coil to be as
close as possible to the target anatomy.
This facilitates ease of handling, patient comfort and outstanding
performance, the company said. Moreover, during the examination, the
system automatically selects those coils and elements which contribute
to the highest SNR within the selected field of-view (SmartSelect).
SmartSelect also increases the reproducibility and consistency across
The innovative design of the coils leads to an improvement in patient
throughput time of up to 30 percent, according to Philips. For more
Posted February 24, 2011