Portable MRI Quickly Helps Evaluate Stroke Victims

Potential life-saving information can be quickly and accurately obtained by portable MRI, allowing doctors to identify intracranial hemorrhages (ICH) in patients showing signs of stroke, according to a study published August 25, 2021, in Nature Communications.

Portable low-field (0.064 Tesla) MRI units (pMRI) can be positioned at the head of the patient’s bed, allowing for imaging “with no need to remove ferromagnetic objects required for clinical care,” because of the low magnet strength. In addition, “The scanner’s open geometry design allowed for easy access to intravenous lines, ventilation tubing, and intraventricular drains during pMRI examinations. Patients and research staff did not experience any adverse events during pMRI deployment and could safely remain in the hospital room during scan acquisition,” according to the study’s authors.

The results obtained “demonstrate the successful deployment of a low-field pMRI device to the bedside of critically ill patients with ICH. With this approach, we obtained neuroimaging results that enabled detection and characterization of ICH. …. These results suggest that pMRI-based neuroimaging assessments are a point-of-care solution that could be useful in a broad range of clinical settings for diagnosis and evaluation,” concluded the team, led by Dr. Mercy Mazurek of Yale University in New Haven, CT.


Mazurek, M.H., Cahn, B.A., Yuen, M.M. et al. “Portable, bedside, low-field magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of intracerebral hemorrhage.” Nat Commun 12, 5119 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25441-6 Online August 25, 2021, at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-25441-6 Accessed September 6, 2021.

Yee, Kate. “Portable MRI helps clarify stroke symptoms more quickly.” AuntMinnie.com. August 25, 2021, at https://www.auntminnie.com/index.aspx?sec=sup&sub=mri&pag=dis&ItemID=133315 Accessed September 6, 2021.

“a The portable MRI (pMRI) device has a height of 140 cm and a width of 86 cm. The critical 5 Gauss (0.5 mT) boundary around the scanner extends into a circle with a diameter of 158 cm. b The pMRI device is positioned at the head of the patient’s hospital bed. The scanner bridge (35 cm) adjoins the hospital bed with the pMRI device and the patient’s chest height and head and neck lengths are positioned within the vertical clearance between magnets (32 cm) and the head coil length (26 cm), respectively. c The patient’s head is positioned within the single channel transmit, 8-channel receiver head coil (26 × 20 cm) and the RF shield is closed for scan acquisition, which creates a horizontal clearance of 55 cm.”

“The first and second columns are low-field FLAIR and T2W images, respectively. The third column is a gold-standard clinical examination for comparison (3T MRI: a3, b3, c3, and e3; CT: d3). a Left isointense fronto-parietal intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with hyperintense rim and bilateral frontal hematomas. b Bilateral isointense cerebellar ICH with hyperintense rim. c Left hypointense occipital lobe ICH with hyperintense rim. d Left homogenous, hyperintense ICH in corpus collosum. e Left hypointense temporal ICH with hyperintense rim.”

Images and captions obtained from the study are used via the Creative Commons CC BY license under which the study are published. Source information is contained within the post body under ‘Sources,’