Embedded protocols in MRI promise productivity boost for Siemens users

February 5, 2003

Scan parameters transfer from imagesSiemens Medical Solutions has released software that allows the easy and quick transfer of scan protocols from one MR scanner to another, regardless of gradient configuration. Dubbed Phoenix, the

Scan parameters transfer from images

Siemens Medical Solutions has released software that allows the easy and quick transfer of scan protocols from one MR scanner to another, regardless of gradient configuration. Dubbed Phoenix, the intelligent software reads and transfers protocol information contained in the DICOM header of MR images stored on CD-ROMs or accessed over a network.

"The protocol describes TR, TE, slice thickness, time sequences, bandwidth-whatever parameters you are setting," said Michael Wendt, Ph.D., Siemens manager of MR research. "Every image has a DICOM header-but only our software can extract this information for reuse."

Siemens introduced the transfer technology for MR users late last year as part of its syngo 2002B, an upgrade of the company's user interface. To transfer scan protocols, the image must be saved and accessed by systems running syngo 2002B. With this latest version in place, the transfer process is a snap.

The technologist drags and drops information from the DICOM header into the measurement queue on the console screen. This sets the parameters of the exam about to be conducted to those used to generate the reference image. If the system has a different gradient configuration than the one used to make the saved image, the technologist presses the SHIFT key during the drag-and-drop operation, and Phoenix adapts the protocol in less than 30 seconds.

Phoenix may be used to ensure that images obtained in a follow-up scan are comparable to those made earlier. Or it may be used to upgrade imaging protocols residing on a scanner. For example, a technologist wanting to duplicate the quality of one set of images saved using syngo 2002B can open the patient browser on the MR scanner, download the protocol from the DICOM header of any image, and save it for later use.

Another feature of the upgraded software, called PACE, provides control over motion artifacts that might result, for example, from respiration. The company's proprietary parallel acquisition technique, called iPAT, is also onboard, as is a feature called Inline Technology, which immediately displays data sets and processing results. A color overlay feature makes it easier to read and analyze maps.