Generally, children find it difficult to sit still for long periods. This can make it difficult for doctors taking MRI/CT scans to get accurate results through conventional methods, the scan time averages an hour or longer. However, researchers from Stanford have found a way to reduce the time to 30 minutes or less per region. As an added bonus, this method also picks up more details. The patients in this study had leukemia, lymphoma, or sarcoma.
- Ten participants: 10 pediatric cancer patients (5 boys and 5 girls) who had undergone chemotherapy, at an average of 18.7 months prior underwent PET/MR imaging. Head and joint MRI were performed at the same time with PET data acquisition being done as well, along with cardiac imaging, with and without enhancing the images.
- Scanning time greatly reduced: The technicians were able to complete the brain scans in just 27 minutes, the bone scans in a time of 15 minutes as well as manage to do cardiac imaging within 19 minutes, a drastic reduction from scans done conventionally. Eight of the cancer patients had out-of-the-ordinary findings on their brain, heart and bone scans and another six had symptoms while two didn’t.
- Additional details noticed: The doctors undertaking the study managed to avoid T1 mapping along with extracellular fractional volume calculations and thus, reduce the time taken to twenty minutes. Most importantly, the researchers also discovered several additional findings, including issues with the hip and injuries in the brain. There were few side effects, including hip and joint pain.
The project researchers are currently trying to conduct an even larger study to validate the findings with a larger sample pool. They are trying to acquire funding via additional grants from health institutes and other organizations. They are also partnering with other hospitals.