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The extension of MR imaging to new applications has demonstrated the limitations of the architecture of current real-time systems. Traditional real-time implementations provide continuous acquisition of data and modification of basic sequence parameters on the fly. We have extended the concept of real-time MRI by designing a system that drives the examinations from a real-time localizer and then gets reconfigured for different imaging modes. Upon operator request or automatic feedback the system can immediately generate a new pulse sequence or change fundamental aspects of the acquisition such as gradient waveforms excitation pulses and scan planes. This framework has been implemented by connecting a data processing and control workstation to a conventional clinical scanner. Key components on the design of this framework are the data communication and control mechanisms, reconstruction algorithms optimized for real-time and adaptability, flexible user interface and extensible user interaction. In this paper we describe the various components that comprise this system. Some of the applications implemented in this framework include real-time catheter tracking embedded in high frame rate real-time imaging and immediate switching between real-time localizer and high-resolution volume imaging for coronary angiography applications.
Date of Conference: 1-5 Sept. 2004