Hybrid imaging combines different imaging modalities to obtain information from both systems, such as anatomy and physiology through MRI while leveraging tools available for X-ray fluoroscopy. Hybrid image systems could offer the benefits of increased diagnostic accuracy, faster examinations, and a better understanding of different medical professions. Current medical imaging research leverages hybrid imaging, which is of particular value to interventional applications as additional information is provided with MRI and soft-tissue contrast. This combined work can also aid in various medical procedures, such as neurosurgery.
Researchers at RPI have created a combined medical imaging technique with X-ray and MRI to provide superior information to aid in better medical decisions. The hardware is designed to be portable and compact. The system includes hardware for creating single-view x-ray and MRI images simultaneously. Specifically, a resistive magnet (electromagnet) generates a homogeneous magnetic field by passing a current through a solenoid. Electromagnets are less expensive than superconducting magnets and do not require cryogenic cooling. These solenoids can be powered by an array of supercapacitors native to the system to enable the mobility of the scanner. By using principles of interior MRI for imaging a small region of interest, the magnet size can be more compact than in conventional scanners because the uniform field region needed is smaller with a field strength of ~0.5 T. This also results in a weaker fringe magnetic field leaking out and decreases interference with x-rays. Single views can be obtained over a short period with both modalities, and joint reconstruction is performed using techniques previously described in the literature.