The license agreement covers a suite of programs that recognize artery and plaque types, and by analyzing MRI images, automatically generate a quantitative report and three-dimensional rendering of the artery and associated plaque components. The programs are as accurate in analyzing MRI data as highly trained radiologists but analyze MRI data much faster. UW researchers are investigating how the quantity and types of plaque present may be used to evaluate patient risk of heart attack and stroke.
"This technology will help clinicians efficiently and accurately identify 'vulnerable' plaque, which is linked to heart attack and stroke. It will also provide researchers with a powerful tool to study the progression of atherosclerosis in humans and its reaction to treatment," said UW Radiology Professor Chun Yuan.
The announcement of the license agreement coincides with the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) conference today, May 4, in Seattle and the launch of UW Radiology's new 3 Tesla MRI machine located at the Biomolecular Imaging Center at South Lake Union in Seattle. A tour of the facility by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias Zerhouni and a symposium featuring internationally recognized MRI experts will mark the dedication of the new center, where novel imaging techniques for both human and animal models will be developed to study cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis.
VPDiagnostics acquired the technology from Pathway MRI, a medical device company specializing in cardiovascular solutions for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Pathway MRI originally licensed the technology from the UW last summer while participating in a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) collaboration with UW Assistant Professor William Kerw
Contact: Bob Roseth
University of Washington