The role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in day to day clinical practice is growing. Gadolinium-based contrast agents have traditionally been used to enhance the signal from flowing blood allowing rapid acquisition of high spatial resolution angiograms for the diagnosis of vascular disease. The ability to view the anatomy in 3D as well as the minimally invasive nature of MRI image acquisitions offer some advantages over more invasive x-ray angiography.
Recently, developments in contrast-enhanced MRI acquisitions and data analysis are providing a larger range of options for the diagnosis of ischemic stroke and certain types of cancer. Dr. Carroll's lab is working with indicator dilution techniques applied to heavily T2-weighted images for the assessment of cerebral perfusion. In addition, they are using pharmocokinetic models applied to contrast-enhanced, time-resolved T1-weighted uptake curves in tumors to assess vascular volume and blood vessel permeability. These imaging techniques have the potential for successful surveillance of the staging, and tracking the response to therapy of certain types of cancer.
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