In spring 2001, a unique interventional radiology facility wasinstalled at UCSF, consisting of two main imaging suites, joined withan X-ray / MR-shielded door which combins a 1.5T magnetic resonanceimaging and an X-ray angiography into one laboratory (Philips MedicalSystems, Intera 1.5T MRI, Integris V5000 angiography system). The suiteincludes patient anesthesia preparation and holding areas and hardwareand software development bays with state of the art equipment (3Drotational X-ray Reconstruction Workstation (SGI), 2 Easy Vision ImageReview and Analysis Workstations (Sun), and a Research Workstation (PC)with integrated access to MR datastream).
The combination of these two units allows rapid transport ofpatients from one device to the other; seamless transportation ofpatients is accomplished via a "floating table top," compatible withboth MRI and X-ray systems.
With this new facility, both types of images can be acquired withinminutes, without changing the patient's position relative to theexamination table. This arrangement will allow the pursuit of severalprimary clinical and research goals, including:
- the design of comparative studies of the angiographic capabilities of the two modalities
- the definition of medical procedures which could profit from the complementary features of the two systems ("MR-assisted angiography")
- the development of hardware and software for "interventional MR" procedures (i.e., interventional procedures performed under MR guidance alone, without the need for X-ray imaging).
This facility combines state of the artX-ray angiography and MRI. New areas of intervention are being exploredas we develop a new dimension for interventional radiology; the use ofmagnetic resonance imaging for interventional procedures is in itsinfancy and represents a new horizon for clinical development.