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SENSE imaging helps improve breast MRI

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Parallel imaging in breast MR improves lesion characterization and significantly reduces scan time, allowing for shorter bilateral examinations, according to researchers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ.

Parallel imaging in breast MR improves lesion characterization and significantly reduces scan time, allowing for shorter bilateral examinations, according to researchers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ.

Dr. Paul D. Friedman and colleagues have scanned approximately 1300 patients since January 2002 in the largest ongoing application to date of sensitivity encoded (SENSE) technology. SENSE imaging dropped scanning time to 22 minutes for bilateral scans, improved patient comfort, increased throughput, and reduced costs, the researchers wrote in the February issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Before SENSE imaging became available, unilateral imaging took 30 minutes and required two patient visits, two contrast injections, and subtraction images. Temporal resolution was greater than one minute.

Breast MRI is generally considered an expensive technique with a relatively low specificity. With continued improvements, however, it will become even more beneficial and, possibly, will become an effective screening tool, the investigators concluded.

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