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First patients scanned by new Aberdeen University MRI which is like “100 in one”

Tuesday November 21st 2017 at 9:45 AM

Patients in Aberdeen have become the first in the world to be scanned using a new type of MRI scanner, developed in the city.


Professor David Lurie, research group leader.

The pioneering piece of equipment was worked on by a team at the University of Aberdeen.

The Fast Field Cycling MRI scanner is the first – and only -one of its kind in the world.

It switches the strength of its magnetic field during the scanning procedure – producing a scan with much more information than a regular MRI machine.

All patients being scanned so far have suffered strokes.

The development of this latest FFC scanner, which took 10 years, adds to the university’s long history with the technology.

The first-ever full-body MRI machine was developed by Aberdeen University in the 1970s.


Research group leader, Professor David Lurie, said “Because FFC scanners can switch their magnetic field, it is almost like having 100 different MRI scanners in one.

“This gives an extra dimension to the data collected from each patient, greatly expanding the diagnostic potential.”

He continued, “It is incredibly exciting to have imaged our first patients.

“This is a major step towards our technology being adopted by hospitals to benefit patients, which is the ultimate goal of our research.”

The team, based at the university’s School of Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition, has already used the FFC-MRI for diagnosis by studying tissues obtained from patients who have had surgery.

Consultant and senior lecturer Dr Mary Joan MacLeod has now been working on brain scans for patients that have suffered a stroke.

She said: “Treatments for stroke have to be given very early to be effective, and the CT scans patients currently undergo on admission to hospital give us limited information to help plan that treatment. 

“The Fast Field Cycling scanner has great potential, because it might give more accurate ‘real time’ information on what is happening in the brain tissue, helping to direct treatment.”

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