Multimodality medical imaging takes advantage of the strengths of different imaging modalities to provide a more complete picture of the anatomy under investigation. Many complementary modalities have been combined to form such systems and some are gaining use clinically. One combination that has not been developed, in large part due to technical difficulties, is a combined MR and ultrasound imaging system. Such a system offers the potential to combine the strengths of these modalities in a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of performing simultaneous multimodality ultrasound and MR imaging. An ultrasound imaging system capable of operation in a clinical MR imager was developed, and methods to perform simultaneous imaging were investigated. Simultaneous imaging was feasible without any mutual interference by either filtering the transmitted and received ultrasound signal, or by synchronizing data acquisition between the two imaging systems. Spatial registration between the two modalities was achieved by using a reference phantom with implanted glass beads in orthogonal planes. Excellent agreement was observed between spatial measurements of an object made with both modalities, and the feasibility of using this system in vivo was demonstrated in a rabbit model. Simultaneous ultrasound and MR imaging is achievable, and can provide complementary information about an object under investigation. This demonstration of technical feasibility and the development of a prototype system open up the potential to investigate the promising clinical applications of this combined technology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering