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Swedish Researchers Shorten MRI Scans to Nearly a Minute

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev / Go to the mediabankA technician performs an MRI scan. File photo
A technician performs an MRI scan. File photo - Sputnik International
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Medical researchers based at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have cut the time it takes to perform a full Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan to a little over a minute. Tim Sprenger and Stefan Skare developed 5,000 lines of code and combined Echo-Planar Imaging (EPI) and MRI scans into one method (EPI-mix).

MRI scanners rely on a large magnet and radio waves to record images of organs within the body while requiring the subjects to lay still during the procedure. The use of MRI scanners increased dramatically between 1993 and 2004. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, there were less than 10 MRI scanners per million Americans in 1993.

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A traditional MRI scan requires different types of imaging. The procedure requires the patient to be still for about seven minutes for each image, with the entire process taking about 30 minutes to an hour. With EPI-mix technology, the scientists created a method to cut down the time to complete a full MRI scan to 70 seconds. Last year, Skare and his team released a video of 30 volunteers getting scanned in less than an hour.

Although the results are slightly unclear when compared to full-fledged MRI scans, they can be utilized by doctors for early detection and diagnosis, said Anna Falk Delgado, a radiology expert.

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