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Mayo Clinic develops new technology to improve diagnosis of arm and hand injuries and disease

ROCHESTER, Minn.-- Mayo Clinic today announced it has developed a series of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices that make it easier to diagnose injuries and diseases that affect wrists, forearms, elbows, hands and fingers. Mayo has obtained FDA approval to market and commercialize these devices, making them available to other medical centers nationwide.

Named Mayo Clinic BC-10 MRI Coils, these devices are highly sophisticated units used in taking detailed pictures of a particular part of the body. They produce high resolution images at 1.5 and 3 Tesla. Tesla indicates the strength of the main magnetic field used in MR imaging. High resolution images improve a physician's ability to see small structures such as tiny ligaments and nerves in the hand. This means more accurate diagnosis of injuries and diseases, and in some cases, eliminates the need for invasive diagnostic procedures such as arthroscopy, the visual examination of the interior of a joint with a special surgical instrument.

"Accurate diagnosis is the critical forerunner to effective medical treatment, which is why Mayo focused on improving the diagnostic capabilities of magnetic imaging," says Kimberly Amrami, M.D., a radiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

This is the first of a series of MRI coils Mayo is developing to improve the accuracy and thoroughness of imaging diagnoses. Mayo Clinic worked with IBM industrial design engineers to optimize the functionality for the benefit of both the medical technician and the patient. Some of the design changes IBM orchestrated brought quick reward, such as adding windows to the sides of the device that enable technicians to better view and align patient anatomy within the coil.

"This effort represents years of medical research and a great collaboration between a team of Mayo clinicians and IBM engineers, and we look forward to a continued collaboration, including developing more designs with the goal of improving pat
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Contact: Suzanne Leaf-Brock
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
11-Dec-2003


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