GE Healthcare this week introduced a new MRI technique designed to allow for more accurate imaging of soft tissue and bone in patients with metal joint implants.
The MAVRIC SL reduces image distortion in the regions around MR-conditional metal implants, according to GE, which allows physicians to see the tissue around the implant. Metal implanted devices cause image distortion, making it often impossible to achieve quality diagnostic MR images of anatomy near implants.
“The addition of MAVRIC SL to a standardized MR protocol is instrumental in providing accurate, reproducible diagnosis of adverse tissue reactions around implants,” Hollis Potter, MD, chief of MR Imaging at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and a lead member of the development team, said in a statement. “Even in asymptomatic patients, the MAVRIC SL technology can recognize an issue that needs to be monitored, providing valuable clinical information for an issue that can have significant human and economic costs, particularly when diagnosis is delayed.”
The Hospital for Special Surgery also released a study this week showing that MR imaging can detect inflammation of the joint lining (synovitis) in patients with metal-on-metal hip implants before symptoms appear. This may allow for more conclusive diagnosis and follow-up care planning. The study was published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
Patients may be experiencing tissue damage from metal hip implants before feeling any pain, according to the HSS data. MR detected inflammation in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. This can help identify which patients need revision surgery before the tissue sustains further damage.
About 1 million Americans have joint replacement surgery each year. Of those, about 10 percent of implants require revision surgery to remove old implants and replace them with new components, according to GE.
HSS and Stanford University collaborated with GE on developing the MAVRIC SL. It received FDA 510(k) clearance in December 2012.