Using a Portable Low Field MRI for Timely Diagnoses of Stroke: Annabel Sorby-Adams, PhD


The postdoctoral research fellow in neurology at Harvard Medical School talked about the potential of a portable low field MRI device to provide timely and cost-effective diagnoses for stroke. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"One thing that has become evident to me while using this device is the range of use-case scenarios that extend beyond acute stroke. Having a technology like this, which facilitates the diagnosis of various neurological conditions, can support differential diagnosis in pediatric cases and enable examinations of older adults through longitudinal imaging for conditions like Alzheimer disease."

For patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS), treatment options rely on the precise timing of symptom onset and an accurate diagnosis. For example, intravenous thrombolysis poses a challenge for patients who wake up with symptoms since the exact onset time remains unknown. In order to address this, clinicians can use the discrepancy between fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) on MRI as a qualifying factor for thrombolysis in wake-up stroke cases. The recent emergence of portable, low-field MRI technologies represents a potential for accurate diagnosis in this field, offering a promising solution to broaden access and overcome limitations associated with traditional systems.

In a recent pilot study, findings showed that a portable low-field MRI can distinguish hyperacute stroke from later stroke onset using FLAIR SIR among patients with AIS.1 Presented at the 2024 International Stroke Conference (ISC), February 7-9, in Phoenix, Arizona, lead author Annabel Sorby-Adams, PhD, and colleagues recruited patients diagnosed with AIS between January 2020 and June 2023. These patients underwent DWI and FLAIR acquisition on a 0.064T MRI at less than 4.5 hours (n= 7), between 4.5 and 6 hours (n= 7), and between 6 and 48 hours (n=110) since last known well.

Sorby-Adams, postdoctoral research fellow in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, recently had a conversation with NeurologyLive® to discuss how the portable low field MRI addressed the time-dependent challenges in treating wake-up stroke patients based on findings from the presented study. She also talked about the key findings from the initial proof of concept study conducted at the clinical setting. In addition, Sorby-Adams provided commentary on how the portable MRI device might impact healthcare access for patients in rural or remote areas.

Click here for more coverage of ISC 2024.

1. Sorby-Adams A, Guo J, Schleicher R, et al. Portable, Low-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Determining Mismatch Following Acute Ischemic Stroke. Presented at: 2024 International Stroke Conference; February 7-9; Phoenix, AZ. Abstract 89.
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