In This Chapter

Principles behind Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Authored by: Ronnie Wirestam

Handbook of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging for Physicists

Print publication date:  January  2022
Online publication date:  January  2022

Print ISBN: 9781138593268
eBook ISBN: 9780429489556
Adobe ISBN:


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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a well-established medical imaging modality, characterized by excellent soft-tissue contrast in morphological images. The field of MRI is developing rapidly, also in applications related to tissue function, physiology, and microstructure, including imaging of flow, perfusion, cortical activation and diffusion. Information about tissue metabolites and biochemical aspects of various disorders can be obtained by magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopy. Furthermore, MRI is becoming increasingly common in hybrid medical system designs, both for diagnostics and therapy – for example, in combination with positron emission tomography (PET) and radiation therapy linear accelerators. Hence, the basic principles of MRI are of relevance to most medical physicists, and the main part of this chapter deals with nuclear magnetic resonance physics, MR signal generation, spin relaxation, image contrast preparation, spatial encoding, and image reconstruction. Further topics comprise common clinical imaging pulse sequences, aspects of imaging quality (including common artefacts and signal-to-noise ratio issues), advanced MRI methods, and a brief summary of MRI hardware and safety.

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