Design of a sustainable prepolarizing magnetic resonance imaging system for infant hydrocephalus

Johnes Obungoloch, Joshua R. Harper, Steven Consevage, Igor M. Savukov, Thomas Neuberger, Srinivas Tadigadapa, Steven J. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objectives: The need for affordable and appropriate medical technologies for developing countries continues to rise as challenges such as inadequate energy supply, limited technical expertise, and poor infrastructure persist. Low-field magnetic resonance imaging (LF MRI) is a technology that can be tailored to meet specific imaging needs within such countries. Its low power requirements and the possibility of operating in minimally shielded or unshielded environments make it especially attractive. Although the technology has been widely demonstrated over several decades, it is yet to be shown that it can be diagnostic and improve patient outcomes in clinical applications. We here demonstrate the robustness of prepolarizing MRI (PMRI) technology for assembly and deployment in developing countries for the specific application to infant hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus treatment planning and management requires only modest spatial resolution, such that the brain can be distinguished from fluid—tissue contrast detail within the brain parenchyma is not essential. Materials and Methods: We constructed an internally shielded PMRI system based on the Lee-Whiting coil system with a 22-cm diameter of spherical volume. Results: In an unshielded room, projection phantom images were acquired at 113 kHz with in-plane resolution of 3 mm × 3 mm, by introducing gradient fields of sufficient magnitude to dominate the 5000 ppm inhomogeneity of the readout field. Discussion: The low cost, straightforward assembly, deployment potential, and maintenance requirements demonstrate the suitability of our PMRI system for developing countries. Further improvement in image spatial resolution and contrast of LF MRI will broaden its potential clinical utility beyond hydrocephalus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-676
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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