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Imaging Unit

State-of-the-art imaging technology enables noninvasive methods for quantifying morphological and functional biomarkers in clinical and preclinical studies.

The Imaging Unit of the CRC Hannover has been equipped with its own MRI scanner. It will be used exclusively for research, specifically to support early-phase clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals. MR technology permits fast, accurate data capture and is also noninvasive with minimal impacts on study participants. While drawing on the excellent infrastructure of the CRC Hannover and the expertise of the MHH and Fraunhofer ITEM scientists working in this study center, the radiologists and neuroradiologists of the Imaging Unit are in a position to offer state-of-the-art examination and analysis methods to clients in industry.

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In an initial study involving both asthma patients and healthy volunteers, a consortium of scientists from MHH and Fraunhofer ITEM explored a special method based on analyzing MRI data.

Even minor alterations in lung tissue are clearly visible in the cross-sectional images of patients’ lungs that the MRI scanner generates, which are similar to a series of slices. It is not even necessary for a contrast agent to be inhaled or injected. The results were published in the renowned “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” (2014 Mar 15; 189 (6): 650-7).

In addition to the already established MR imaging biomarkers for lung inflammation, scientists of Fraunhofer ITEM and the MHH Department of Radiology are developing novel gas-enhanced MRI methods involving perfluoropropane and hyperpolarized xenon. These unique techniques make it possible to quantify regional ventilation and measure the impact of pharmaceuticals at the lobar level. MR imaging is also suitable for noninvasive examination of other internal organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart, and CNS, thus enabling morphological and functional analyses of these organs in clinical studies.

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Contact
Prof. Dr. med. Frank Wacker
Director of the MHH Department of Radiology
Phone +49 511 5350 8496
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