A Healthier Wisconsin

Improving Clinical Imaging Diagnostics Through Cutting-Edge MRI Technology

Improving high-strength MRI technology and techniques to assess cancer, inflammation, brain degeneration and injury

Full Project Name:Improving Clinical Imaging Diagnostics Through Use of Cutting-Edge MRI TechnologyPrincipal Investigator:Kevin Koch, PhD, RadiologyAward Amount:$500,000
Award Date
Project Duration:36 months

Project Description Narrative:

The implantation of metallic devices has become increasingly common, especially with the rise of joint replacements. The need is projected to continue rising with the age of the population, as 3.5 million knee replacements are projected to be done in 2030. Better imaging techniques are needed to assess complications due to tissue inflammation near the implant, as well as to better check for cancer recurrence near implant sites after treatment for osteosarcoma.

By improving MRI images near metal implants, physicians will be better able to test for a number of potential post-implantation complications including local tissue inflammation, loosening of the implant, infection and recurrence of osteosarcoma allowing physicians to assess the status of an implant and make more informed decisions if any problems arise. In addition, researchers aim to implement a number of newly designed techniques to improve clinical monitoring of brain degeneration and traumatic brain injury, among other conditions.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:

  • Documented progress toward implementing new techniques to improve the images taken by MCW's most powerful MRI machine, which will enhance imaging for Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury and cancer
  • Began to develop and refine techniques to help physicians look for abnormal iron levels that will help in imaging of cancer and micro-bleeds in the brain indicative of head trauma
  • Provided the first demonstration of distortion-free, diffusion-weighted MRI near metal implants, which resulted in one publication and an NIH award
  • Developed technology that allows for advanced tissue measurements near failed total hip replacements. With hospital collaborators, the team demonstrated that this technology could be an early predictor of tissue death in those cases
  • Documented progress in learning more about how the brain recovers from sports concussion
  • Disseminated findings through seven international presentations and publication efforts
  • Leveraged $775,000 of extramural resources through this award

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