Laser helps fill gaps in MRI scans

Nov. 8, 1999
A patient with asthma lies in a magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) chamber, taking labored breaths as a doctor viewing a screen watches how the air moves in her lungs.

A patient with asthma lies in a magnetic-resonance-imaging (MRI) chamber, taking labored breaths as a doctor viewing a screen watches how the air moves in her lungs. The patient then sits up, takes a shot from her inhaler, and lies down again. The doctor can see immediately how much the inhaler has helped her breathing. This was one of the tests performed by researchers at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), who are studying ways to improve their view into the body's cavities using MRI and hyperpolarized gas. Based on their work, the medical company Nycomed Amersham (Buckinghamshire, England) is preparing clinical trials in an effort to win US Food and Drug Administration approval for this method of imaging.

—Paula M. Noaker

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