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Technology and Health Care is intended to serve as a forum for the presentation of original articles and technical notes, observing rigorous scientific standards. Furthermore, upon invitation, reviews, tutorials, discussion papers and minisymposia are featured.
The following types of contributions and areas are considered:
1. Original articles:
Technology development in medicine: New concepts, procedures and devices associated with the use of technology in medical research and clinical practice are presented to a readership with a widespread background in engineering and/or medicine.
Significance of medical technology and informatics for healthcare: The appropriateness, efficacy and usefulness deriving from the application of engineering methods, devices and informatics in medicine and with respect to public health are discussed.
2. Technical notes:
Short communications on novel technical developments with relevance for clinical medicine.
3. Reviews and tutorials (upon invitation only):
Tutorial and educational articles for persons with a primarily medical background on principles of engineering with particular significance for biomedical applications and vice versa are presented.
4. Minisymposia (upon invitation only):
Under the leadership of a Special Editor, controversial issues relating to healthcare are highlighted and discussed by various authors.
Abstract: Magnetic resonance spectroscopy provides a means of non-invasively measuring the behaviour of a range of compounds of biochemical significance. With the development of a range of spatial localization and mapping techniques, the method has a range of promising applications in oncology. 31 P and 1 H spectroscopy are of value in observing the metabolism of both tumours and normal tissues. 19 F spectroscopy has been used to monitor the metabolism of fluorine containing anticancer drugs, and 13 C may find application in this field, particularly in pre-clinical studies. In vivo clinical measurements are complemented by pre-clinical studies, high resolution measurements…of extracts from tissue samples and also the measurement of biofluids, which can provide additional metabolic and pharmacokinetic information. The application of these techniques to oncology is reviewed, with particular emphasis on their clinical role.
Keywords: Nuclear magnetic resonance, Spectroscopy, Cancer, Clinical studies, Cancer therapy
Abstract: The in vivo relaxation times T1 and T2 were quantitatively determined in rat brain. Animals with implanted experimental brain tumors were investigated for discrimination of pathological regions from normal brain structures based on relaxation time differences. The different cerebral tumors (glioma, schwannoma, neuroblastoma) showed no difference in relaxation times, but all tumors had T1 (1301 ± 167 ms) and T2 (91 ± 9 ms) times distinctly longer than normal brain (T1 : 1057 ± 77 ms; T2 : 77 ± 6 ms). T1 can be used for distinction of tumor and edema from normal brain, while T2…is the better parameter for discrimination between tumor and edema. Furthermore, the effect of MRI contrast agents (GdDTPA, MnTPPS, GdTPPS) on the relaxation times of these experimental brain tumors was measured. The enhancement of tumors produced by GdDTPA disappeared within ten minutes after i.p. application. At later times, central cysts and peritumoral edema became the most enhanced structures. The enhancement of tumor following MnTPPS application remained unchanged in T1 -weighted images during the whole observation period of four days. A significant reduction of enhancement was not observed during this time. The effect of MnTPPS on T2 was weak. Replacement of manganese with gadolinium as the central ion of the porphyrin TPPS led to a contrast agent with enhancement effects on both, T1 - and T2 -weighted images.
Keywords: In vivo NMR relaxometry, T1 and T2 relaxation times, Rat brain, Experimental brain tumor, Glioma, Schwannoma, Neuroblastoma
Abstract: The non-invasive visualisation of the coronary arteries with magnetic resonance imaging would be a highly useful tool for the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, with a potential to partly replace current invasive imaging modalities, and would be a step towards more patient comfort. While magnetic resonance (MR) angiography of most larger blood vessels can nowadays be performed routinely, current techniques are inadequate to image the coronary arteries. This paper provides a short overview of the principal techniques for MR angiography. The combination of a multiple-slice MR angiography technique with a simple and easily performed breathhold scheme is described, which…allows to image the main branches of the coronary artery tree within one scan of 9 to 12 min duration. For display the coronary vessels are segmented semi-automatically and reconstructed as 3D-objects. Results of volunteer scans and examinations of patients with known coronary artery disease show the feasibility of the approach. However, due to the need for a breathhold scheme, patient cooperation is required.
Keywords: Magnetic resonance angiography, Coronary arteries, Breathhold scheme
Abstract: Interventional surgery techniques under the control of fast acquired magnetic resonance (MR) images may become important in interventional radiology in the near future. One of the components needed for an interventional MR scanner is the real-time reconstruction of the acquired MR images. However up to now no real-time reconstruction systems are readily available for MR images. Therefore a reconstruction device was developed, which allows reconstruction and display of MR images with a delay of less than 50 ms. Additional to the high performance, the main characteristics of the presented device are its full compatibility with different MR acquisition techniques and…its moderate cost. The device can be operated with most types of commercial scanners. It is especially suited for interventional MR systems but has also applications with conventional MR scanners.
Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging, Real-time image reconstruction, Interventional radiology