Win a free MRI machine

One day after announcing a new cost-effective 1.5 T Magnetom Essenza MRI, Siemens has initiated a clever marketing strategy to bring attention to its product.
One small hospital in the US, currently without an MRI, has a chance to win the system by producing a short video on why they want the scanner, and entering it in the contest held over at The video with the most votes wins. So, whether you want to watch a bunch of amusing videos, or you want to side with your local hospital, head on to the website and vote.
(hat tip: WSJ Health Blog)

More about this MRI: ESSENZA 1.5 Tesla
Magnetom Essenza is a powerful and low-cost system that supports the clinical and financial success of its users. In addition to the low initial investment, savings of up to 25% can also be attained on installation costs for space, power requirements and construction. In part this is due to the light-weight 3.5 ton magnet, which even makes it possible to install the Magnetom Essenza on higher floors. If the system is replacing an existing MR system, it can reduce energy consumption up to 50% thanks to its high-performance electronics. Since the state-of-the-art magnet has zero helium boil-off, there is no need to regularly refill this expensive substance, and the system is always ready for operation.
Thanks to its powerful gradients (30mT/m), the new member of the Magnetom family delivers superior image quality for all clinical applications. Using Tim technology with Magnetom Essenza, the area of the patient to be examined can be covered with up to 25 seamlessly integrated coil elements that are read by 8 independent radiofrequency channels. Tim allows for flexibly combining up to four different coils, which make patient and coil repositioning virtually unnecessary. Tim also enables Parallel Imaging for reduced acquisition times. All of these benefits translate into workflow improvements as well as increased patient throughput, not to mention improving the profit situation. As an example, a complete examination of the entire central nervous system can be performed in less than ten minutes.
Another powerful new innovation is the IsoCenter Matrix coil. It is permanently positioned at the isocenter of the magnet and therefore always in position, ready to scan. The advantage: the user does not need to carry large, heavy spine coils any more and the patient preparation time is shortened. Additionally, by ensuring the correct positioning of the coil excellent image quality is also guarantied. The IsoCenter Matrix can be used in flexible combinations with other coils and works as a virtual 140 cm coil without patient repositioning in multi-step examinations.
Another new feature is the Focus Shoulder Array for optimum imaging of the shoulder. The coil’s shim wing shifts the examination area of the magnet from the middle of the system to the shoulder, which would lie at the edge of the measuring volume without this technology.
Magnetom Essenza has a shorter system length than many conventional 1.5 Tesla MR systems. This means that the head and feet of the patient remain outside of the system in many cases, making the examination much more pleasant for the person in the bore.


Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome

I came across this very intresting case by By: patricia burrows, Radiologist, Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts, USA

these are great MRI’s of this Syndrome

Here is another good case

Thanks mypacsnet

General Discussion

Hemangioma-Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (also known as Kasabach-Merritt Syndrome) is a rare disorder characterized by an abnormal blood condition in which the low number of blood platelets causes bleeding (thrombocytopenia). The thrombocytopenia is found in association with a benign tumor consisting of large, blood-filled spaces (cavernous hemangioma). The exact cause of this disorder is not known.


Hemangioma-Thrombocytopenia Syndrome is a rare disorder that is typically characterized by a benign (non-cancerous) tumor consisting of large, blood- filled spaces (cavernous hemangioma). This tumor occurs along with a blood condition (thrombocytopenia) characterized by an abnormally low number of blood platelets which can cause excessive bleeding.Excessive bleeding (hemorrhaging) beneath the skin (purpura) typically develops within the first six weeks of life, but may appear later in childhood as the hemangioma increases in size. Usually there is only one hemangioma which is found on the neck, arms, legs, or trunk of the body. Less common are tumors of the internal organs which may be found on the tongue, thorax, spleen, liver, gastrointestinal tract or bones. Hemangiomas are rarely found internally and on the skin of the same patient.Thrombocytopenia may occur within the first month of life in association with a hemangioma of the outer layer of the placenta (placental chorioangioma) or large hemangiomas of the skin.Hemangiomas may become filled with blood (engorged) before a bleeding spell occurs. The cause of the bleeding is not certain, but it can be triggered by trauma.A decrease in the level of the oxygen carrying component of blood cells (hemoglobin), red blood cells (erythrocytes), and/or proteins in the blood that are part of the clotting process (prothrombin and fibrinogen) may also occur. However, fibrinogen deficiency usually affects older children and adults.CausesThe exact cause of Hemangioma-Thrombocytopenia Syndrome is not known. It is thought that the thrombocytopenia may be a result of platelet destruction which occurs in relationship to growth of the hemangioma. There is no evidence that the syndrome is hereditary.Affected PopulationsHemangioma-Thrombocytopenia Syndrome is a very rare disorder that affects males and females in equal numbers. Approximately one in every five hundred cases of people with hemangiomas have associated thrombocytopenia.Courtesy of NORD website:

11 month 22 day old male: 11-month-old with history of Kasabach-Merritt syndrome and left shoulder/arm hemangioma, presenting with thrombocytopenia. The patient is a full term spontaneous vaginal delivery with no complications during pregnancy. At six weeks of age at a well baby checkup, the patient was noted to have two small bruises on the left arm and deltoid region. At three months the patient’s mother noticed increased area of bruising as well as two more bruises on the left shoulder area. Diagnosis was hemangioma which would resolve with time. A left shoulder incisional biopsy was consistent with hemangioma. In September of 1994 he was placed on Prednisone, 4 milligrams per kilograms per day. Prednisone initially resulted in improvement but then the hemangioma increased in size. The patient was first given platelets in September of 1994 for a platelet count of 22K. Mother estimates some 30 platelet transfusions since then, the last one being in December of 1994. The patient underwent three sessions of radiation treatment in December of 1994, and on December 22, 1994 the patient was admitted with the diagnosis of rectal prolapse, which was reduced. Cultures grew out Klebsiella and the patient was treated with Tobramycin and Timentin. The patient improved and was discharged. Interferon was begun in October of 1994, present dose is 0.3 milliliters subcutaneously q.d. Two urine samples of FgF showed on January 30, 1995 44,000, and on February 27th 32,000. Three days prior to admission the patient showed increased agitation. Hemangioma became darker and harder, and most recent complete blood count as of April 3, 1995 was a red blood cells of 4.53, hematocrit of 23.2, and platelet count of 5. The white blood cell count had a differential of 15 polys, 7 bands, 61 lymphs, 5 monos, 2 eosinophils. There has been no history of significant bleeding.

more info

Case study of IAC involvement.

Robotic Arm. Inventor Dean Kamen

Inventor Dean Kamen discusses the next-generation prosthetic arm his engineers are building under contract from the Pentagon, and Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner gets a demo.
Dean Kamen has been working on robotic arms for injured soldiers who have lost limbs. The technology is like nothing we have ever seen before. He is being funded by a goverment agency (DARPA) and making great progress. The robotic arms will be able to have sensory perception along with motor control.

Cool Computers

Those itching for something off the beaten path should certainly look Sony’s way, as the firm is offering up a few funky fresh items to celebrate its Canvas @ Sony art installation. Reportedly, the outfit will be selling a trio of stylish NW-A808 DAPs, MDR-KX70LW earbuds and VAIO VGN-CR90 laptops, all of which will boast unique, art-inspired enclosures. As for prices, the A808s will be ¥26,800 ($228) while the earbuds and laptops will ring up at ¥5,980 ($51) and ¥114,800 ($978), respectively. But you’d better get a move on, as each of the aforementioned items are limited in quantity to 100. Click on for more pictorial delight.[Via Impress]
Continue reading Sony cranks out artsy new audio gear, VAIO laptops


The fate of the IntraVascular MRI (IVMRI) Catheter, a self-contained magnetic resonance system for visualization of coronary arteries from Israel’s TopSpin Medical, is now in the hands of the FDA. We’ve been following this exciting technology since 2005. According to Globes, the company completed laboratory tests, preclinical and clinical trials for the catheter, and its CEO is quite optimistic about a possible US approval. The system has received the CE Mark from the European regulators back in December.
To remind our readers, here’s how the technology works:
TopSpin Medical has developed a self contained “inside-out” miniature MRI probe in a tip of an intravascular catheter that allows for local high-resolution imaging of blood vessels without the need for external magnets or coils. The advantages of this technique range from the very practical aspect of a low-cost system (since no expensive external setup is required), accessibility to the patient during the procedure, compatibility with existing interventional tools, and finally resolution and diffusion contrast capabilities that are unattainable by conventional clinical MRI, due to the strong local gradients created by the probe and its proximity to the examined tissue.
The intravascular probe serves as a first example for a wide range of applications for this method, which in the near future may revolutionize the field of clinical MRI. It opens the door for the application of MRI in cases where high-resolution local images are required and when the transformation into an MRI environment is both mentally and economically difficult for the hospital. The medical applications for this technology include detection and staging of prostate cancer, imaging tumors in the colon, lung and breast and intravascular imaging of the peripheral vasculature…
A static magnetic field of about 0.2 Tesla is generated by strong permanent magnets located at the tip of the catheter. The gradients that result from such a small configuration are in the range of 100-300 T/m, and may be controlled to some extent by changing the angle of the magnetization and the dimensions of the gap between the two magnet pieces. Due to volume constraints, a single coil is used both for transmission and for reception. The magnetic field profile created by this “inside-out” probe within the imaged volume is significantly different from that created by conventional NMR or MRI setups.
The IVMRI catheter is used for measuring the apparent water diffusion coefficient of the various components of the atherosclerotic vascular wall. It shows decreased and isotropic water diffusion within the atherosclerotic plaque compared with the fibrous cap and medial layer. Hence, the heterogeneous water diffusion properties within the atherosclerotic arterial wall can be exploited, by the IVMRI catheter, to develop an index of arterial wall lipid infiltration and help determine the structure of the arterial wall with regard to lipid content. The extent and location of increased vascular lipid infiltration can then be used to determine the presence of an atherosclerotic lesion with an increased likelihood of subsequent clinical instability. The IVMRI catheter was designed to obtain high-resolution imaging, thereby revealing the depth and size of the necrotic core and assess fibrous cap thickness.
Globes: Topspin Medical applies to FDA for catheter approval …
TopSpin Medical …
Flashback: IntraVascular MRI (IVMRI) Catheter

Cancer specialists warn EU directive puts MRI benefits at risk

MADRID (AFP) — Cancer researchers warned at a conference in Spain Monday that an EU directive on limiting magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could halt use of an important tool in the fight against the disease.
The directive is set to be implemented across Europe by April next year and was drawn up to limit medical workers’ exposure to electromagnetic fields.
But Professor Dag Rune Olsen, a specialist in experimental radiation therapy at the Norwegian Radiation Hospital in Oslo, told the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona that the directive could put at risk some eight million annual MRI scans, hampering patient treatment.
“These are likely to have to stop, since the directive sets limits to occupational radiation exposure which will mean that anyone working or moving near MRI equipment will breach them, thus making it possible for them to sue their employers,” he said.
“Even those maintaining or servicing the equipment may be affected,” said Olsen, who is also chairman of the physics committee of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO).
Britain’s Health and Safety Executive published a study in June, undertaken by Professor Stuart Crozier of Brisbane University, Australia, which found that anyone standing within about one metre (yard) of an MRI scanner in use would breach the exposure limits laid down in the EU directive.
EU authorities are now considering amendments to the directive.
According to Professor Olsen, “Slovakia has already implemented the directive, on the grounds that it was based on the assumption that the limits which it sets would have no effect. This would appear to mean that it is now illegal to carry out MRI scanning in the country.”
In a statement, conference organisers said the directive “will also stop the use of MRI for interventional and surgical procedures, and will curtail cutting edge research.”
“The added value that MRI represents to medical diagnostics has been tremendous,” Olsen insisted.
He said he hoped there could be a delay in the directive’s implementation, while also warning against “hasty decisions without scientific support”.
Professor John Smyth, president of the Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS), meanwhile warned that political decisions were harming cancer treatment in Europe.
He cited the MRI directive as an example and said that “(it) looks as though it may stop all MRI scanning in Europe”.
“We simply cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand on these issues, which affect doctors and patients alike,” he said.
Earlier, the conference heard that the number of elderly cancer patients would likely double from 2000 to 2030, creating “huge challenges” to healthcare systems worldwide

Microsoft HealthVault Unveiled

Microsoft’s long awaited and highly secretive health portal has been rolled out and is free for use by the public. HealthVault is essentially an online place to keep family’s electronic medical records and easily share them with medical providers. What Microsoft claims to have done is effectively create an electronic filing cabinet and a built-in fax machine that can selectively share data found in the cabinet with anyone connected to the internet. Additionally, the system allows for connectivity with devices like blood pressure meters and glucose monitors, that can upload their data to the system for a physician to review and for historical reference.
We imagine that a system like this might be useful in reverse, where a physician uploads information for the rest of the family to see, as in cases like a child away at camp or parents that live at a distance who visit a clinic.
Currently in beta, Microsoft’s HealthVault plans to stay free and to pay for itself through advertising on the built-in search engine.
HEALTH SEARCH: The new way to search for healthcare articles, Web links, and mini-applications.
DIRECT INPUT: Enter your personal information, upload health documents, and create records for members of your family. It’s time to digitize the doctor’s office “clipboard”.
FAX INPUT: Have your health records faxed directly into your HealthVault account. Collect all your paper-based health records into your digital store.
YOUR DOCTORS: Your whole healthcare provider team — from MDs to Chiropractors — are generating information about your health. You should have a copy of that information so that you can share it with all of them.
PRESCRIPTIONS: Medications need to be managed and renewed and, if your MD is e-prescribes, HealthVault can collect and store your medication history.
IMAGING & LAB RESULTS: Your images (X-Rays, MRIs, CAT Scans) and lab results may also be a part of your health record, and HealthVault helps you keep copies of them in your account.