In February 2012, the Lawson Health Research Institute received the first hybrid imaging scanner in Canada that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). The Siemens Biograph mMR joins these two powerful three-dimensional imaging methods into one simultaneous unit to make possible new diagnostic tools for the early detection and treatment of Canada’s major health challenges – heart failure, cognitive impairment, cancer, stroke, neuropsychiatric disorders. The PET/MRI connects Lawson with a small network of elite molecular imaging research centres throughout the world that have this same scanner and opens the doors to international collaboration. In partnership with Siemens, Lawson scientists are developing new PET/MRI software and hardware to quantify the true burden of disease, both prior to and following treatment.
Advantages of simultaneous PET/MRI
The advantages of hybrid PET/MR imaging are considerable:
The simultaneous image capture of the PET and MRI scans eliminates potential imaging problems caused by involuntary patient movement, such as breathing, beating of the heart and muscle relaxation
- The MRI scanner provides improved imaging of soft tissues compared to CT
- When used for anatomical imaging, the radiation dose for patients is significantly less than that of PET/CT
- The combined scanner reduces the overall procedure time and the need for patients to return for multiple visits
- Patients can be diagnosed more quickly and accurately since the imaging and overall information available from the scan is superior and more detailed compared to other methods
- The scanner’s non-invasive imaging can replace more expensive, complex and riskier invasive diagnostic techniques (e.g. biopsies, exploratory surgery)
- Earlier detection of specific markers of disease through PET/MRI can open the door to more treatment options for patients.
Siemens Biograph mMR
Field Strength: 3.0 Tesla (zero helium boil-off technology)
Field Stability over time and homogeneity: <0.1ppm/hr, ≤0.3ppm on 30cm DSV
Bore Diameter: 60cm
Number of Receivers: 32
Gradients MQ Gradients: 45 mT/m
Slew rate,MQ Gradients: 200 T/m/s
Software version: VB20P
Max patient table weight: 200kg
Crystal material- LSO
Crystal element dimension,4 x 4 x 20 mm
Axial FOV: 258mm
Transaxial FOV 588mmNEMA 2007 – Transverse spatial resolution
FWHM @ 1 cm,4.4 mm
Peak NEC rate (@ 21.8 kBq/cc) 175 kcps
PET-Compatible MR Coils
The following are optimized for minimum PET attenuation and can be used for combined MR and PET exams:
PET-transparent 32-channel Ceresensa Head Coil
mMR Head- additional upper part for the mMR Head/Neck Coil
mMR Body Array (3)
mMR Breast Coil
4-channel Flex Coil-small & large
32-channel Body Coil
32-channel Head Coil
15-channel Tx/Rx Knee Coil
MSK Coils- shoulder, wrist
Loop Coils-small, med & large
PROPixx Projector and data acquisition system- Native resolution is 1920x1080. Deterministic timing between reception of video signal and update of display pixels with refresh rates up to 500Hz. Standard and super-long throw lenses available. Stereo audio, trigger and digital video inputs/outputs available in the control room. Set-up in MRI Imaging room with SHIELDPixx enclosure.
InFocus IN5102 LCD projector Native resolution is 1024x768 (XGA). 4000 Lumens. Lens: standard and ultra-long throw (LENS-040). Permanently mounted in equipment room. XGA connection and video signal amplifier available in control room.
Trackpixx Eye Tracking is a remote 2000 Hz eye and gaze tracking system that offers customization potential, versatility and a large tracking range for binocular or monocular tracking.
Button Response Pads
fORP fiber-optic button box for interactive subject participation. We have the 4 button diamond patterned MR-compatible response pad and an identical trainer for use outside the MRI environment. Interface: FIU-932 Fiber: 12-fiber, 55’ Devices: HHSC-1x4-D, TR-1x4-D<
Triggers (Synchronization with imaging)
Our standard way of triggering experiments is implemented through the fiber optic trigger pulses sent from the MRI scanner in certain pulse sequences (eg. BOLD EPI). The fiber optic is typically connected to the fORP interface and the trigger pulse is converted to various formats. The formats available are: TTL and analog (36 pin connector); USB (small connector). Serial, parallel and USB cables are available.
Sound System and Communication
RTI SereneSound Headset Used for protocols requiring high fidelity audio stimuli. 30dB attenuation of gradient noises 40Hz to 40kHz frequency response. Slim profile for use with Siemens 32-channel head coil.
Cambridge Soundworks 765i – part of RTI Serene Sound system. Used as basic audio/video source and audio monitor. Audio inputs: Am/FM radio, CD, iPod, Aux Audio outputs: lineout (3.5mm stereo jack), Headphone (3.5mm). Video inputs: DVD,CD-ROM, DVD-ROM Video outputs: s-video, composite
Stimuli Presentation Software
The Stim2 system presents custom designed audio and video stimuli, and supports subject feedback via a 4-button MRI-compatible response pad.
High-performance data acquisition hardware for research applications. 2 analog outputs, TTL trigger input, 8 digital inputs and 8 digital outputs.
MR Compatible Eyeglasses
Cambridge Research Systems Medigoggles. MR-compatible interchangeable prescription eyeglass with lens inserts in Rx powers from -6 to +6 dioptre in 0.5 dioptre increments.
Swisstrace twilite two Blood Sampler and Beta Scintillator System
Online blood sampling system for arterial input curve acquisition. MRI compatible LYSO scintillator. Connection via two flexible light guides.
MEDRAD Spectris solaris EP MR injection system. Can be used to deliver injectibles continuously or in bolus
MRI compatible Infusion Pump
MRidium 3860+ MRI IV Infusion System. Intuitive Smart IV Pump technology reduces input errors. Placement up to the 10000 Gauss line. Infusion range of 0.1 to 1400 mL/hr. Delivery via syringe, bag or bottle. Adjustable KVO Rate, Upstream / Downstream Occlusion Detection and Air-in-Line Detection. Wireless Remote Display allows for control room operation of unit.
Physiological Monitoring & Recording
Monitoring and recording of peripheral pulse (top), ECG (middle) and respiration (bottom) through standard Siemens wireless PMU equipment. An MRI-compatible pulse-oximeter, Nonin 8604FO, can be used to display SpO2& and pulse rate.
MagLink RT system records EEG in the MR using an MR-compatible EEG cap (64 or 128 channels) and pulse oximeter. A cable system sends EEG from the magnet to a system unit in the MR control unit. QuikGel and QuikCells are both available as options depending on experimenter preference. Accepts incoming TTL pulses to mark the recorded EEG file with events.
Medoc - The Medoc Thermal Stimulator Pathway 95 utilizes a thermode (either CHEPS or ATS available) placed on the subject's skin, which can either heat or cool the skin as required. The thermal stimulation can become painful if desired, but will not damage (i.e.: burn) the skin. A response button can be used outside the MRI to tailor the stimulus to the individual subject's tolerance before entering the MRI. Researchers can program the Pathway to deliver virtually any set of thermal stimuli (subject to safety limitiations) with rapid rise times available (up to 10°C/s).
Luxtron m3300 Biomedical Lab Kit for temperature sensing. The m3300 Biomed Lab Kit is a fiber optic thermometry system designed for such demanding environments, featuring patented fiber optic probes that use the fluorescence of phosphors at their tips to sense temperatures based on optical signals. Because they are non-metallic, and electrically non-conductive, they are immune to electromagnetic interference and can measure temperatures accurately in environments where conventional electrical sensors are ineffective or useless.
The ACR MRI Phantom is an 8" (203.2 mm) diameter cylinder, 6.82" (173.40 mm) tall with various fixtures inside, including a grid, cylinders, and other points of interest. Marked with reference points for nose and chin. The Phantom is approved by the American College of Radiology and is compatible with the ACR Phantom Cradles.
The NEMA IEC Body Phantom Set™ consists of a body phantom, a lung insert and an insert with six spheres with various sizes. It is designed in accordance with the recommendations by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and modified by the National Electrical manufacturers Association (NEMA). It is recommended for use in the evaluation of reconstructed image quality in whole body PET imaging.
The ADNI (Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) Magphan® phantom is used for detailed measurements of volume distortion in MR scanners.The Magphan® Quantitative Imaging Phantom contains a total of 165 spheres made from polycarbonate plastic. These spheres are filled with copper sulfate and water solutions. The spheres are mounted on a series of polycarbonate plates and posts to maintain their fixed positions inside the phantom. The phantom includes one 6cm diameter sphere, four 3cm diameter spheres, two 1.5cm diameter spheres and one hundred fifty-eight 1cm spheres. Measurements of the phantom are compared with the known positions of the spheres to give an accurate measurement of the distortion of the scanner.
PET Torso Phantom
The PET Torso Phantom consists of a fillable body phantom, two large hollow cylindrical chambers and one smaller hollow cylindrical chamber
NEMA Scatter Phantom
The NEMA Scatter Phantom complies with NEMA 2012 Standard and determines the imaging systems relative sensitivity to scatter radiation. It can measure the effects of dead-time and the effects of random events generated at different levels of activity of the line source
NEMA Sensitivity Phantom
The NEMA Scatter Phantom complies with NEMA 2012 Standard and is ideal for measuring PET camera sensitivity
The PET/MRI is available to all peer-reviewed grant funded scientific investigators who have obtained appropriate ethics approval. Access is subject to approval by the 3T PET/MRI Operating Advisory Group.
Make a Booking:
John Butler, MRT(MR)
Heather Biernaski, MRT(N)(MR)