Portable MR system aids diagnosis of rheumatic diseases

December 1, 2003

GE Medical Systems Lunar introduced the Applause, a portable MR device, at the RSNA meeting. The system is optimized for diagnosing early signs of joint erosion due to rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of autoimmune rheumatoid diseases.

GE Medical Systems Lunar introduced the Applause, a portable MR device, at the RSNA meeting. The system is optimized for diagnosing early signs of joint erosion due to rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of autoimmune rheumatoid diseases.

Images obtained with the Applause may also be used to determine the severity of disease and to monitor its progression and treatment. The system's easy portability allows transport among rooms in private-practice offices, hospitals, or clinics.

The scanner, developed by MagneVu in Carlsbad, CA, is being distributed under agreement with GE. It was first unveiled in October at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

The Applause uses a nonhomogeneous magnetic field to image the hand, wrist, and foot. MR promises earlier detection of arthritis, potentially leading to more effective treatment of the disease, according to MagneVu. The compact, portable magnet can be rolled into any exam room. It requires no special office setup or shielding and can be plugged into a wall outlet. The unit obtains and displays images in all three planes of view and provides scans that are similar in clarity to conventional MR images, according to GE.