Evaluation of Synthetic MRI for Clinical Use
Conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a qualitative method for obtaining images of softtissues in patients. Conventional MRI is the standard method used today and it results in gray-scaleimages in which the different magnetic properties of biological tissues determine the image contrast. However, the magnitude of the measured signal is only relative and therefore not directlycomparable between images. Synthetic MRI is a relatively new technique which can be used to postsynthesizedifferent images based on absolute measurement of several magnetic properties oftissues. Synthetic MRI can therefore provide quantitative information together with the contrastimages.
In order to use synthetic MRI clinically an evaluation of the image quality and diagnostic ability isrequired. The purpose of this thesis is to evaluate if synthetic MRI and conventional MRI produceimages with equal contrast.
A study was designed and conducted for statistical evaluation of contrast and Contrast-to-Noise Ratio(CNR) generated with different imaging methods. A total of 22 patients were examined using bothconventional MRI and synthetic MRI and the results were pairwise analyzed.
The contrast and CNR could not be stated as equal for the imaging methods. Typically the contrastwas higher in the synthetic images for the T1 and T2 weighted images. This was not observed withCNR which suggests that the noise is higher in the synthetic images. The higher contrast obtained insynthetic images resulted in a better separation of different tissues using synthetic MRI. Thesynthetic T2 FLAIR images contained artifacts that are not good for clinical use. However the fact thatthe different imaging methods produce different image quality is not proven to be clinically decisive.
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