n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Advanced magnetic resonance imaging of the brain : MRI of the brain

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Since the development of magnetic resonance imaging by Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield using a back projection technique in 1973, MRI technology has improved at an unparalleled rate and, due to its exquisite soft-tissue contrast, has become the method of choice for neuro- and spinal imaging. Today a three-dimensional image of the entire brain can be acquired at a 1x1x1 mm3 spatial resolution in just 5 minutes. The true power of MRI, however, lies in its flexibility and the fact that the contrast of images can be manipulated by changing machine parameters in a way that exploits the different magnetic properties of different tissues. Another advantage of MRI over other modalities is the fact that there is no ionising radiation. This makes MRI uniquely suited to research applications where subjects require repeated imaging and to the study of children.

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