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Ingenia 3.0T enhances head and neck imaging at Leuven

Best Practice
Vandecaveye, Vincent, M.D., Ph.D. University Hospitals Leuven • Belgium
De Keyzer, Frederik, M.Sc. University hospitals Leuven • Belgium

University Hospitals Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) is one of the largest medical facilities in Belgium. About 150 patients are scanned each week on the hospital’s Ingenia 3.0T system, including about 15 head and neck patients. In both tumoral and non-tumoral pathology, Ingenia’s high SNR and homogeneity are boosting the diagnostic quality of the hospital’s head and neck MRI exams.

 Vincent Vandecaveye, MD, PhD, Radiologist Frederik De Keyzer, MSc University Hospitals Leuven (Leuven, Belgium)
Vincent Vandecaveye, MD, PhD, Radiologist
Frederik De Keyzer, MSc
University Hospitals Leuven (Leuven, Belgium)

High quality, large coverage head-neck MRI supports diagnostic confidence

“For head and neck imaging, the field homogeneity is the biggest advantage of Ingenia 3.0T,” says radiologist Vincent Vandecaveye, MD, PhD. “MRI of the head and neck area can be challenging because of the many air-tissue interfaces that influence magnetic field homogeneity, which may lead to artifacts. However, with Ingenia 3.0T we get very uniform signal over all our images, as well as fewer artifacts. This is especially true of our functional MR imaging; the diffusion weighted imaging and the perfusion imaging are very homogeneous. And the signal-to-noise ratio is very high. We don’t do 1.5T imaging for head and neck anymore. Everything is done on Ingenia 3.0T because it provides so much more signal and resolution and speed.”

“We invest Ingenia’s high SNR in getting a much larger field of view and coverage while maintaining spatial resolution and speed,” he says. “This provides an important advantage in our patients with lesions in the oral cavity. Whereas in the past they needed an additional CT exam for staging the rest of the neck, we can now do it all with MRI in one scan with a large field of view. We scan from the base of the skull down to the thoracic inlet, similar to how CT is done. So, patients come to MRI for a complete loco-regional staging, covering the primary tumor and all the neck stations including the lymph nodes.”

“Our routine examinations have become much shorter with Ingenia 3.0T, especially ear and sinus exams. In applications like staging of cancers, we are able to increase the coverage and do more functional imaging in the same time slot as a 1.5T MRI exam,” he adds.

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A convenient system for techs and patients

“Ingenia’s SmartSelect automatic coil selection is a huge step forward. It saves a lot of time and effort by avoiding the need to reposition patients and coils,” says Frederik De Keyzer, MSc. “Another big advantage is the dS HeadNeckSpine coil solution. The spine coil is conveniently integrated in the table. The head coil is smaller and more open than previous coils but it gives the same image quality, and it’s so much lighter and thus easier for the technologist and the patient. It has a neck extension, and it allows us to scan patients in a slightly tilted plane. And, of course, we benefit from dStream providing high SNR and digitization in the coil and high dS-SENSE speed-up capability, for better image quality or reduced scan time or larger coverage.”

“Our patients are quite comfortable in the Ingenia. I can’t even remember in the last few weeks anybody having problems getting in the system due to kyphosis, scoliosis or claustrophobia,” says De Keyzer. In Leuven, the wide-bore Ingenia 3.0T is combined with Philips Ambient lighting.

Optimization multiplies advantages

“When we received Ingenia 3.0T, we transferred our ExamCards from our Achieva 3.0T TX to optimize them for Ingenia,” says De Keyzer. “But to our surprise, we didn’t have to change much. We saw that SNR was better on Ingenia, and we used that to get a larger coverage, a higher matrix. Ingenia also allows us to use higher dS-SENSE factors than before. Another example of improvement is DWI; we were used to diffusion MRI being sensitive to artifacts, but these are lessened on Ingenia 3.0T, due to the excellent field homogeneity allowing better fat suppression.”

Shorter scan time and more diagnostic confidence

“We have invested the extra SNR gain of Ingenia into larger coverage and more comprehensive imaging, rather than decreasing total scan time,” says De Keyzer. “However, even after the addition of routine functional imaging, the entire scan time is still shorter than an equivalent examination at 1.5T in our center.”

“In terms of workflow, Ingenia 3.0T is an easy system to use. It has easy patient positioning, even in our whole body scans,” concludes Dr. Vandecaveye. “And because we can pack so much information into one MRI head and neck examination, we are more confident in our diagnosis.”

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Nov 5, 2013

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Best Practice
Ingenia 3.0T
Release 4
dStream, DWI, Head, Neck, Neuro, Oncology, THRIVE

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