Diagnostic imaging  

Mercury introduces advanced digital MRI receiver

2 October 2006

Chelmsford, Mass., USA. The Visage MRI receiver from Mercury Computer Systems uses advanced noise-reduction technology to deliver high quality images.

The Visage MR is a high-bandwidth, 16-bit analogue-to-digital receiver board with advanced digital filtering and MRI-specific noise-reduction technology that significantly improves signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) in MR images, compared to existing offerings in the marketplace. Visage MR has four times the resolution of current-generation MRI receivers, coupled with an extremely high sampling rate. This combination extends dynamic range through decimation to 24-bits of resolution, preserving more of the MRI signal to allow the visualization of finer image detail, while also accelerating fast MRI imaging sequences.

Mercury is marketing Visage MR to research institutions and medical OEMs for insertion into new MRI system platforms and for upgrades to installed base machines.

In clinical trials conducted at institutions worldwide over the last several months, Mercury has demonstrated significantly reduced image noise and increased contrast in MRI images across a range of field strengths (0.2T, 1.5T and 3.0T) with a variety of coils (head, body, extremity) and applications — increasing image quality in all cases. Visage MR has also been shown to shorten scan times during clinical imaging acquisitions. A scan that normally takes 25 minutes, for example, can be completed in 10 minutes with a 3D scan using Visage MR, which can significantly increase patient throughput and potentially lower the cost of MRI procedures.

"We have shown Visage MR can make low-field MRI images look like those of a mid-field MRI and mid-field MRI images look as good as high field," said Marcelo Lima, Vice President of Commercial Imaging and Visualization at Mercury Computer Systems, Inc. "It's like you are getting extra field strength with Visage MR, without the cost of expensive magnets."

Visage MR is a result of Mercury's 2005 acquisition of Echotek Corporation, a leader in embedded mixed-signal data acquisition products. Mercury combined Echotek's unique expertise in extracting clear signals from electronic clutter with MR-specific signal processing and noise-reduction technology to create the Visage MR product.

"Echotek Series products deliver the finest signal integrity, measured by signal-to-noise ratio and SFDR (spur-free dynamic range) in the industry," said Gary J. Turchetta, General Manager of the Echotek Product Group at Mercury. "We are delighted to see this capability applied to MR imaging with the Visage MR offering."

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