Advanced NMR outlines MRM scanner

July 27, 1994

Before summer's end, the medicalimaging community can expect to get its first look at a prototypeof Advanced NMR's long-awaited dedicated magnetic resonance mammographysystem. Advanced NMR is planning to unveil the system in the firsthalf of September,

Before summer's end, the medicalimaging community can expect to get its first look at a prototypeof Advanced NMR's long-awaited dedicated magnetic resonance mammographysystem. Advanced NMR is planning to unveil the system in the firsthalf of September, according to William Voorheis, president andCOO of the Wilmington, MA, company.

The yet-to-be-named product will be based on superconductingmagnet technology, with the magnet manufactured by British supplierMagnex. The scanner's field strength will be between 0.5 and 0.8tesla, Voorheis told SCAN. To the uninitiated, its outward appearancewill be similar to that of a standard MRI scanner.

Patients will be scanned while in a prone position, which enablesbreasts to be extended in a technique similar to that used indedicated breast biopsy tables marketed by Fischer Imaging andLorad.

The system's field-of-view will cover the entire breast, backto the chest wall and axilla. Procedures will take about 10 minutes.

Low cost and user-friendliness were primary design considerations,according to Voorheis. The system will cost less than $450,000and will be compact and light enough to be installed in private-practiceoffices. Voorheis envisions that sales of the unit will be aimedat the x-ray mammography market.

"Our whole approach is Clinton-friendly," he said.

The diagnostic role to be played by the system is expectedto evolve over time. Initially, it will most likely be used asan adjunct to x-ray mammography, particularly for ambiguous anddifficult-to-diagnose cases, Voorheis said. If the most optimisticscenarios for MRM prove true, the technology could lead to a reliable,noninvasive way to differentiate benign from malignant breastlesions, he said.

Advanced NMR has acquired images from the system and hopesto make the first installation of the unit by the end of thisyear.