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Simultaneous ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging

Smilutaneous ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging at Sunnybrook Research Institute

Our goal is to develop and evaluate the benefits of simultaneous multimodality ultrasound and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. These two modalities are routinely used independently and compared to each other through image registration techniques, a task that can be difficult in the presence of significant organ deformation or patient motion.

We believe that an integrated MR and ultrasound system capable of simultaneous imaging can provide diagnostic information superior to that achievable by both modalities sequentially.

There are three stages of research:

  • To develop a prototype ultrasound and MR imaging system, and to evaluate the advantages of simultaneous ultrasound and MR imaging in phantoms and preclinical models. Methods to align the two imaging modalities spatially and temporally will be developed, and the impact on signal-to-noise of imaging simultaneously will be evaluated.
  • To investigate the potential for ultrasound imaging to track the motion of an object, and to trigger MR imaging based on this information for improved motion compensation in MR imaging.
  • To explore the feasibility of performing simultaneous contrast-enhanced imaging with MR and ultrasound imaging. A custom apparatus capable of imaging small preclinical models and phantoms will be constructed, and investigations will be conducted in both of these systems. These experiments will be performed in phantoms and in vivo in a preclinical model.

The outcomes of this project will be the development of a combined ultrasound and MR imaging system, and a thorough evaluation of the spatial and temporal resolution of this technology. The feasibility of using this multimodality system for novel clinical applications such as adaptive MR imaging and multimodality contrast enhanced imaging will also be evaluated.