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Ingenia 3.0T provides high SNR for MSK scans at PAMF

Best Practice
Goumas, Chris, M.D. Palo Alto Medical Foundation • USA
Hitt, Dave, B.Sc. Philips Healthcare • USA

Ingenia 3.0T with MultiTransmit 4D provides image contrast and consistency, very high resolution, and excellent homogeneity. The latter is particularly important for anatomy that is off-center or subject to dielectric shading. This makes Ingenia 3.0T a great choice for MSK, as well as most other types of scans.

 Chris G. Goumas, MD Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Chris G. Goumas, MD
Palo Alto Medical Foundation

Using its new Ingenia, PAMF sees dramatic improvements in MSK, breast and spine exams

The Palo Alto Medical Clinic/Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF, Palo Alto, California, USA) is a multi-specialty clinic of approximately 1,000 physicians over northern California. The clinic is well established in the community and well known in the region, drawing patients from California and surrounding states. PAMF installed Ingenia 3.0T at its Women’s Health Center in July 2011, and it’s already reaping the benefits in high quality MR exams.

Chris G. Goumas, MD, says, “About 30 to 40% of Ingenia scans are MSK and sports medicine, and it performs beautifully. It’s also perfect for breast imaging, because there are no banding issues, where you get the band of standing waves that go across the patient with signal loss. The magnet is awesome. It has everything we need: the homogeneity, the wide bore, the high SNR and it’s 3.0T.”

Outstanding clinical performance

Dr. Goumas says his initial experiences with Ingenia have been very positive. “We have an Achieva 3.0T, which is already a pretty awesome scanner. But now with dStream, in the same scan time, we’re able to get a 20% reduction in slice width. We were at the very edge of SNR on the old scanner, and now we’re cutting another 20% off. In our spine imaging, slices used to be 3.5 or 4 mm thick – and they’re now 2.5 mm thick. That’s a huge reduction in slice width. Plus, we’re still doing the scan in the same time – about 5 minutes. So we’re actually using the Ingenia in two ways: for resolution improvement and for speeding up our scans.”

Robust homogeneity and good fat saturation can be a challenge in a wide bore system, but Dr. Goumas says Ingenia has both in abundance. “The homogeneity is outstanding, and the fat saturation is very robust. When we’re doing a wrist, we always do it at the patient’s side, with perfect fat saturation. Same for shoulders: perfect fat saturation. This is very good for MSK work because so much of the anatomy like elbow, shoulder and wrist is off-axis.”

To be able to obtain this kind of homogeneity in a wide bore system is remarkable, he says. “A lot of our competitors aren’t up to that task. We can do even larger athletes now with the 70 cm bore, and we still have better exams because of the speed and the homogeneity off isocenter.”

View clinical cases:

Coils for all applications

Dr. Goumas says the clinic uses all available coils, and all are top-notch performers. “With digitization at the coil and a shorter cable length, we have far less signal loss, and the coils are very lightweight. Our technologists are finding it much easier to handle them,  especially our smaller techs. They say the cable management overall is much better.”

The integrated Posterior coil is a significant advantage in Dr. Goumas’ spine work. “The patient positioning is so much easier,” he says. “The patient just lies on the table, and we don’t need to move a big coil on and off.” The clinic’s spine work has improved dramatically, he adds. “We haven’t had a problem with the banding artifact across the conus that you get in the LS spine. That black band of signal loss has disappeared on Ingenia because of MultiTransmit 4D – the parallel RF transmission – and the integrated Posterior coil.”

Up to 30% improvement

When compared to previous protocols across all MSK sequences, Dr. Goumas says, “In our experience so far, we’re seeing up to about 20% improvement in resolution, and another 10-15% improvement in performance, in terms of slices acquired per unit of scan time, so a 30% improvement, based on those two parameters.”

“It’s impressive to see the capabilities of Ingenia 3.0T – a fresh, brand-new product, that’s been introduced with such a huge step up in capabilities. We used to fight for 5% and 10% improvement, and now we’re looking at 30%. And that’s fresh out of the box.”

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Apr 4, 2012

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Best Practice
Ingenia 3.0T
Release 4.1
Ankle, dStream, Elbow, fat saturation, Hip, Knee, MultiTransmit, Musculoskeletal, Shoulder, Spine, Wrist

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