MRI – Competing Technologies

Organizers: Xavier G. Golay, Ph.D. and Elmar Spuentrup, M.D.
Skill Level: Intermediate 


This four-hour course will provide an overview of each of the following MRI techniques: measurement of brain perfusion (arterial spin labeling and dynamic susceptibility contrast methods), brain mapping (using blood oxygenation level dependent – BOLD or other vascular-related techniques), molecular imaging (following labeling by iron-oxide based particles) as well as the assessment of cardiovascular function (using the whole battery of MRI methods available).  

Each of the four classes will be preceded by a presentation on other technologies concurrent to MRI for the imaging of identical parameters, such as computerized tomography (CT) for the determination of perfusion (using either injection of a bolus of iodine-based contrast agent, or after inhalation Xenon gas), positron emission tomography (PET) for molecular imaging, MEG / EEG for the direct mapping of electrical currents and ultrasound for the assessment of cardiac function.  Each talk will be followed by a short discussion to highlight the advantages and drawbacks of their respective technology.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:
•  Describe recent advances in the MR techniques related to molecular and functional imaging;
•  Explain the basic principles of the competing technologies
•  Summarize the technical and theoretical differences between technologies
•  Describe what is achievable and what is not with each of the technologies presented.

Audience Description

This course is designed for workers in the fields of neurophysiology, brain mapping, cognitive neurosciences, molecular imaging, cardiology, MRI physics, image analysis, and radiology, including graduate students, post-docs, and clinical residents.  No prior experience is required.

  Tuesday, May 22, 2007: Brain Mapping:  
7:00 What can MEG measure that (f)MRI cannot? Krishna D. Singh, Ph.D. 
7:25 What can (f)MRI measure that MEG cannot? Laura M. Parkes, Ph.D.
7:50 Discussion  
8:00 Adjournment  
  Wednesday, May 23, 2007: Molecular Imaging:  
7:00 PET as a molecular imaging tool: a question of sensitivity Andreas Heinz, M.D.
7:25 MRI as a molecular imaging tool: where are the unquestioned advantages? Jeff W. M. Bulte, Ph.D.
7:50 Discussion  
8:00 Adjournment  
  Thursday, May 24, 2007: Perfusion:  
7:00 Imaging: Will MRI Resist the Return of CT? Max Wintermark, M.D. 
7:25 Measuring Brain Perfusion: what is special about MRI? Fernando Calamante, Ph.D. 
7:50 Discussion  
8:00 Adjournment  
  Friday, May 25, 2007: Cardiac Function:  
7:00 High spatial and temporal resolution - the power of  Ole Breithardt, M.D. 
  echocardiography for the assessment of cardiac function
7:25 Cardio MRI: a one-stop-shop tool for clinicians Hajime Sakuma, M.D. 
7:50 Discussion  
8:00 Adjournment