Initial MRI Experiments

By Janae Leach

Damadian, R.V. “Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.” Science 171 (3976):1151-

1153,19 March (1971): doi: 10.1126/scienc.171.3976.1151. Web.

This article shows the important benefits of the MRI when it comes to diagnosing the presence of certain tumors. The resonance technique selected for this experiment are called induction methods. These methods allow direct measurements of the spin-lattice and the spin-spin times. Spin echo nuclear magnetic resonance measurements may be used as a method for deciphering between malignant tumors and normal tissue. Measurements of spin-lattice and spin-spin magnetic relaxation times were made in six normal tissues in a rat (muscle, kidney, stomach, intestine, brain, and liver) and in two malignant solid tumors, Walker sarcoma and Novikoff hepatoma. The relaxation times for the two malignant tumors were clearly outside the range of values for the normal tissues studied. This indicates that the malignant tissues were categorized by an increase in the motional freedom of tissue water molecules. The possibility of using magnetic relaxation methods for a quick diagnosis between benign and malignant surgical objects has also been considered. Also, the spin-lattice relaxation times for two benign fibroadenomas were different from those for both malignant tissues and were the same as those of muscle.

This article is important because it demonstrates the early studies performed to see the accuracy and power of the MRI in 1971. The MRI showing that it can differentiate between tumors and regular tissue is a huge breakthrough in the medical field. This article foreshadows the upcoming medical revolution that the MRI brings to society.



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