Less Powerful Magnetic Fields Improve Heart and Lung Imagery
On November 8, 1895, a physics professor in Bavaria was working in his darkened laboratory when he noticed glimmers of light breaking through a piece of heavy black paper and lighting up a screen behind it. As he placed thicker and heavier items between the source of light and the screen, the light remained. That was the day Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovered x-rays and changed medicine forever.
As we celebrate World Radiology Day on the 128th anniversary of that discovery, medical imaging now allows people to see inside the human body with a clarity Dr. Röntgen scarcely could have imagined. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in particular, has seen huge advances due to the development of bigger and stronger magnets. In contrast to that trend, IRP Stadtman Investigator Adrienne Campbell-Washburn, Ph.D., has instead combined better software and hardware with a less powerful magnetic field to create a new type of ‘low-field’ MRI that is particularly useful for taking pictures of the heart and lungs and for guiding minimally invasive procedures.