-0.5 T MRI system may make diagnostically conclusive scans safer for patients with metal implants
Toronto [May 22, 2019] – Synaptive Medical, a global pioneer in automated surgical planning and robotics, announced today that the Company presented new findings related to its mid-field MRI system research and design at the 57thAmerican Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) Annual Meeting at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA from May 18 – 23. The oral presentation of the Company’s abstract, titled, “Increasing MRI Safety for Patients with Implanted Medical Devices: Comparisons of a 0.5 T Head-Only MRI to 1.5 T and 3 T,” took place at 5:33 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 20, during the meeting’s Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Advanced Imaging in the Spine and Brain session.
The presentation highlighted the potential for improved safety of an MRI scanner outfitted with a magnet operating at mid-field strength—0.5 Tesla (T)—relative to conventional 1.5 T MRI scanners in patients with medical device implants. Implants with neuro-stimulator leads can cause dangerous levels of heating to surrounding tissue when exposed to the external radio-frequency fields produced by MRI systems, which relegates some patients to scans of low quality, long duration or may prevent patients from receiving necessary scans altogether. To investigate whether a mid-field MRI scanner may cause relatively diminished tissue heating within range as deemed safe for such patients, a study conducted by Synaptive compared local specific absorption rate (SAR) of metal rods—a measure used to infer the extent of implant-proximal tissue heating—embedded in a phantom non-conducting mass to simulate a human torso.
MR image results demonstrated that when compared to conventional 1.5 T and even to 3.0 T MRI systems, mid-field 0.5 T systems produced a lower maximum SAR in the metal rods, which may correspond to levels of patient tissue heating that lie within accepted MR safety standards. Importantly, due to recent advances in the quality of mid-field technology, the images exhibit high quality to display diagnostically relevant information in the context of patient scans. Together, these results indicate that moving forward with patient studies in the context of mid-field MRI may be warranted.
The study results presented pertain to Synaptive’s mid-field, head-only MRI system called EvryTM, which is expected to be launched in Canada later this year. Designed to include a magnet operating at 0.5 T field strength, as well as high-performance system components like powerful gradients and a custom head coil, Evry is expected to target point-of-care installation outside of hospital imaging departments to provide scans for cases that require immediate evaluation, such as acute stroke.
“Regardless of the urgency, medical device implants have long posed serious risks for patients requiring MRI scans,” said Cameron Piron, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Synaptive. “At Synaptive, we believe we must exercise due diligence in identifying the parameters of MRI, an irreplaceable diagnostic tool, that will work for everyone, particularly in urgent care settings. The technology we used to design Evry not only holds the potential to add critical functionality to emergency neurological cases, but we hope it will prove to be accessible for the first time to a historically excluded patient population.”
“As with any visualization technology, we must ask ourselves what consequences collecting an anatomical image may have on patients,” said Ian Connell, MRI Scientist at Synaptive. “I hope these promising results will be reproduced in patient studies. Historically, we’ve had to sacrifice image utility for patients with certain implants, but mid-field MRI has come a long way to the point where, very soon, we may be able to offer the capability to make critical diagnostic decisions using magnetic fields that are safe around implants.”
Synaptive Medical Inc., a Toronto-based medical device and technology company, designs hardware and software technologies that cross traditional barriers in hospitals and improve patient care in and beyond the operating room. Synaptive’s Modus V™ and integrated BrightMatter™ solutions—including surgical planning, navigation and visualization, and an informatics platform—give leading clinicians and healthcare systems the information they need to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.
Media Contact:Andrew Mielach
LifeSci Public Relations