JP3980897B2 - Magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, information providing method regarding various parameter settings of magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, and information providing system - Google Patents

Magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, information providing method regarding various parameter settings of magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, and information providing system Download PDF

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JP3980897B2
JP3980897B2 JP2002024737A JP2002024737A JP3980897B2 JP 3980897 B2 JP3980897 B2 JP 3980897B2 JP 2002024737 A JP2002024737 A JP 2002024737A JP 2002024737 A JP2002024737 A JP 2002024737A JP 3980897 B2 JP3980897 B2 JP 3980897B2
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condition
magnetic resonance
imaging apparatus
resonance imaging
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JP2003225222A (en
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直幸 古舘
正生 油井
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株式会社東芝
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Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to providing information related to various parameter settings of a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus.
[0002]
[Prior art]
A medical imaging device provides a lot of information about a subject as an image, and plays an important role in many medical practices such as disease diagnosis, treatment, and surgical planning. At present, as main medical imaging equipment, there are an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus, an X-ray CT apparatus, a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, a nuclear medicine diagnostic apparatus, and the like. Among them, the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus can collect images having excellent contrast in soft tissues and occupies an important position in medical image diagnosis.
[0003]
In this MR image, the image contrast is governed by various imaging parameters, phenomena, and objects. For example, as MR images having different contrasts depending on typical photographing types, a longitudinal relaxation emphasis (T1W) image, a lateral relaxation emphasis (T2W) image, a diffusion emphasis (DW) image, and an inflow (Time-Of-Flight) effect are used. MR blood vessel images (MRA), functional MR images (fMRI) using the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) effect, and the like are known. In addition to this, images using a contrast agent are actively used. In order to provide such various contrast images by the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, it is necessary to appropriately control factors affecting the contrast, that is, imaging parameters.
[0004]
FIG. 11 is a diagram showing an example of a user interface for controlling imaging parameters and processing parameters of a conventional magnetic resonance imaging apparatus. As shown in FIG. 11, in the interface of a conventional magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, when setting imaging conditions for a certain pulse sequence, all settable imaging parameters are displayed and can be input. Normally, all of the settable imaging parameters range from 10 to 20 types. For this reason, it is difficult to understand the shooting parameters to be adjusted in order to obtain an image contrast of a certain shooting type, and it is necessary to repeat the key operation and the mouse movement to set the shooting parameters one by one. Therefore, the operability may be lacking and may be a heavy burden on the operator. Further, due to the lack of operability, the imaging time is prolonged, which places a burden on the operator and the patient.
[0005]
Some devices are designed to store one set of parameter groups so that they can be easily reused. However, even in such an apparatus, it is difficult to understand shooting parameters and the like to be adjusted in order to obtain an image contrast according to a certain shooting type, and there is a lack of operability such that fine adjustment is not easy.
[0006]
By the way, the optimal range of the imaging parameters and the like may be instructed in advance by the manufacturer of the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus in the instruction manual, or may be determined by the clinical laboratory technician or doctor. In any case, the range is fixed as many volunteers and patients are photographed. The optimum range of parameters obtained through such a process can be said to be valuable know-how, and has recently been particularly emphasized. At present, the optimal parameter range as this know-how is prevalent throughout society through academic presentations and literature.
[0007]
However, in academic conference presentations and literatures, the information acquisition opportunity depends on the academic conference schedule and the publication date, which limits the speed. Also, the information provided is limited to academic conference presenters and literature contributors, and there is a limit to the degree of freedom of information.
[0008]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and an object of the present invention is to provide a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus capable of quickly and easily selecting and setting optimal imaging parameters and the like for each imaging type.
[0010]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
In order to achieve the above object, the present invention takes the following measures.
[0011]
According to a first aspect of the present invention, a plurality of conditions that can be set with respect to a photographing type that indicates a photographing type for obtaining a predetermined contrast image are controlled by a first condition that is preferably controlled by the operator and a control by the operator. The storage means for classifying the image into the undesired second conditions and storing it for each photographing type, the selecting means for selecting the photographing type, and the first condition corresponding to the selected photographing type as the first condition The display means for displaying in the form, the changing means for changing at least one of the displayed first conditions, the second condition and the selected first condition according to the changed first condition A magnetic resonance imaging apparatus comprising: a control unit that performs control related to an imaging type.
[0012]
According to a second aspect of the present invention, a plurality of conditions that can be set with respect to an imaging type indicating an imaging type for obtaining a predetermined contrast image are set, the first condition dominant to the contrast of the image and the other conditions. The first condition corresponding to the selected photographing type, and the storage means for storing each of the photographing types and storing them for each photographing type, the selecting means for selecting the photographing type, and the first condition corresponding to the selected photographing type. Display means for displaying, changing means for changing at least one of the displayed first conditions, and the imaging type selected according to the second condition and the changed first condition And a control means for controlling the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus.
[0016]
According to such a configuration, it is possible to provide a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus that can quickly and easily select and set optimal imaging parameters and the like for each imaging type.
[0018]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Hereinafter, first to fourth embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. In the following description, components having substantially the same function and configuration are denoted by the same reference numerals, and redundant description will be given only when necessary.
[0019]
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 according to the present embodiment. The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 transmits and receives high-frequency signals to a bed part on which a patient P as a subject is placed, a static magnetic field generation part for generating a static magnetic field, a gradient magnetic field generation part for adding position information to the static magnetic field, And a control / arithmetic unit responsible for overall system control and image reconstruction.
[0020]
The static magnetic field generation unit includes, for example, a superconducting magnet 101 and a static magnetic field power supply 102 that supplies current to the magnet 101, and an axial direction of a cylindrical opening (diagnostic space) into which the subject P is loosely inserted. Static magnetic field H in the Z-axis direction0 Is generated. A shim coil 114 is provided in the magnet portion. A current for homogenizing the static magnetic field is supplied from the shim coil power supply 115 to the shim coil 114 under the control of the host computer 106. The couch portion can removably insert the top plate on which the subject P is placed into the opening of the magnet 101.
[0021]
The gradient magnetic field generation unit includes a gradient magnetic field coil unit 103 incorporated in the magnet 101. The gradient coil unit 103 includes three sets (types) of x, y, and z coils 103x, 103y, and 103z for generating gradient magnetic fields in the X, Y, and Z axis directions orthogonal to each other. The gradient magnetic field unit also includes a gradient magnetic field power supply 4 that supplies current to the x, y, and z coils 103x, 103y, and 103z. The gradient magnetic field power supply 4 supplies a pulse current for generating a gradient magnetic field to the x, y, z coils 103x, 103y, and 103z under the control of a sequencer 5 described later.
[0022]
By controlling the pulse current supplied from the gradient magnetic field power source 104 to the x, y, z coils 103x, 103y, 103z, the gradient magnetic fields in the three axes X, Y, and Z, which are physical axes, are synthesized and orthogonal to each other. The logical axis directions of the slice direction gradient magnetic field Gs, the phase encode direction gradient magnetic field Ge, and the readout direction (frequency encode direction) gradient magnetic field Gr can be arbitrarily set and changed. Each gradient magnetic field in the slice direction, the phase encoding direction, and the readout direction is represented by a static magnetic field H.0Is superimposed on.
[0023]
The transmission / reception unit includes an RF coil 107 disposed in the vicinity of the subject P in the imaging space in the magnet 101, and a transmitter 108T and a receiver 108R connected to the coil 107. The transmitter 108T and the receiver 108R operate under the control of the sequencer 105. The transmitter 108T supplies the RF coil 107 with an RF current pulse having a Larmor frequency for causing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). The receiver 108R takes in an echo signal (high frequency signal) received by the RF coil 107, and performs various signal processing such as preamplification, intermediate frequency conversion, phase detection, low frequency amplification, filtering, etc. A digital amount of echo data (original data) corresponding to the echo signal is generated by / D conversion.
[0024]
The control / arithmetic unit includes a sequencer (also called a sequence controller) 105, a host computer 106, an arithmetic unit 110, a storage device 111, a display device 112, and an input device 113. Among these, the host computer 106 has a function of instructing the pulse sequence information to the sequencer 105 according to the stored software procedure and overseeing the operation of the entire apparatus.
[0025]
Following the preparatory work such as the positioning scan, the host computer 106 performs an imaging scan based on a predetermined pulse sequence and an imaging parameter setting corresponding to each imaging type. Here, the shooting type means the type of shooting for acquiring a certain contrast image. Specific imaging types include longitudinal relaxation emphasis (T1W) image, lateral relaxation emphasis (T2W) image, diffusion emphasis (DW) image, MR blood vessel image (MRA) using inflow (Time-Of-Flight) effect, Imaging for acquiring a functional MR image (fMRI) using a Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) effect, an image using a contrast medium, and the like can be given. Further, the shooting parameter is a parameter (not necessarily one) that affects the shooting type in order to obtain a suitable image for each shooting type.
[0026]
In addition, the host computer 106 performs data processing and image processing according to the processing type corresponding to the shooting type. Here, the processing type is a type of processing performed on data acquired by a specific photographing type. Even in this processing type, there is a parameter (not limited to one) that affects the acquisition of a suitable image. Hereinafter, this parameter is referred to as a processing parameter.
[0027]
Further, the host computer 106 has a shooting condition management unit 106a that manages shooting parameters and processing parameters and provides them to the user through a predetermined format interface. The imaging conditions refer to imaging parameters managed for each imaging type and processing parameters managed for each processing type. The configuration and function of the photographing condition management unit 106a will be described in detail later.
[0028]
The imaging scan controlled by the host computer 106 is a scan that collects a set of echo data necessary for image reconstruction, and is set to a two-dimensional scan here. The pulse sequence is a three-dimensional (3D) scan or a two-dimensional (2D) scan. The pulse trains include SE (spin echo) method, FSE (fast SE) method, FASE (fast asymmetric SE) method (that is, imaging method combining the fast SE method with the half Fourier method), EPI (echo planar imaging). ) Method, etc. are used.
[0029]
The sequencer 105 includes a CPU and a memory, stores pulse sequence information sent from the host computer 106, controls operations of the gradient magnetic field power source 104, the transmitter 108T, and the receiver 108R according to this information, The echo data output from the receiver 108 </ b> R is once input and transferred to the arithmetic unit 110. Here, the pulse sequence information is all information necessary for operating the gradient magnetic field power source 104, the transmitter 108T, and the receiver 108R in accordance with a series of pulse sequences, for example, x, y, z coils 103x, 103y. , 103z includes information on the intensity of the pulse current applied, the application time, the application timing, and the like.
[0030]
The arithmetic unit 110 inputs echo data (original data or raw data) output from the receiver 108R through the sequencer 105, and arranges the echo data in a Fourier space (also referred to as k space or frequency space) in its internal memory. Then, the echo data is subjected to two-dimensional or three-dimensional Fourier transform for each group to reconstruct the image data in real space. Further, the arithmetic unit can perform a data synthesizing process, a difference arithmetic process, and the like as necessary.
[0031]
In this synthesis process, two-dimensional image data of a plurality of frames are added for each corresponding pixel, and maximum value projection (MIP) or minimum for selecting the maximum value or minimum value in the line-of-sight direction for three-dimensional data Value (MIP) projection processing and the like are included. As another example of the synthesis process, the axes of a plurality of frames may be matched in the Fourier space and synthesized into one frame of echo data as it is. The addition processing includes simple addition processing, addition averaging processing, weighted addition processing, and the like.
[0032]
The storage device 111 can store not only the reconstructed image data but also the image data that has been subjected to the above-described combining process and difference process. Further, the storage device 111 has a shooting condition database 106a for storing shooting parameters and processing parameters managed for each shooting type (see FIG. 2).
[0033]
The display device 112 displays an image. Also, imaging conditions desired by the surgeon, pulse sequences, information relating to image synthesis and difference calculation, and information relating to parameter control can be input to the host computer 106 via the input device 113. Furthermore, an interface for controlling shooting parameters and processing parameters managed for each shooting type is provided in the form described later.
[0034]
The input device 113 selects each region of interest (ROI), inspection type, imaging type, processing type, and imaging type (or inspection type, processing type) for incorporating various instructions, instructions, and information from the operator into the apparatus 12. Input devices (such as a mouse, a trackball, a mode switch, and a keyboard) for setting shooting conditions managed by the computer are provided.
[0035]
The communication device 120 performs information communication with other devices via a network. In addition, as described in the fourth embodiment, the communication device 120 transfers the shooting information stored in the storage device 111 to a predetermined server via the network.
[0036]
(Shooting condition management function)
Next, the imaging condition management function of the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus will be described.
[0037]
FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining shooting condition management executed by the shooting condition management unit 106a. As shown in FIG. 2, first, when shooting type information is input via the input device 113 (step S1), the shooting condition management unit 106a reads the corresponding shooting condition database 111a in the storage device 111 from the shooting condition database 111a. The shooting conditions corresponding to the shooting type are read (step S2). The read imaging conditions are displayed in a predetermined form on the display device 112 (step S3).
[0038]
  FIG. 3 is a diagram showing shooting conditions corresponding to the shooting type displayed on the display device 112. Compared to FIG. 11, the parameter arrangement is different. For some parameters,Cascade display (display area shown by hatching as shown in FIG. 3: hatching display)It is impossible to input.
[0039]
  That is, in the present shooting condition management, shooting conditions managed for each shooting type are classified into parameters that are desired to be adjusted by an operator and parameters that are not desired to be adjusted, and an interface capable of adjusting only parameters that are desired to be adjusted is provided. . As a parameter that is desired to be adjusted by the operator, for example, a parameter that is dominant in the contrast adjustment of an image obtained by the photographing type can be considered. On the other hand, adjustments displayed in cascadeUndesirableThe parameter is a parameter that should not be changed for the shooting type, for example, a parameter that does not greatly affect the contrast adjustment of an image obtained by the shooting type or a parameter that needs to be within a range regulated by law. Conceivable.
[0040]
The operator selects a desired parameter from the interface shown in FIG. 3, changes the numerical value of the parameter, and determines it (step S4). When the necessary parameter change / determination is completed, the setting of shooting conditions is completed, and the host computer 106 executes shooting / data processing according to the contents of the conditions (step S5). Note that the shooting conditions finally set and used for shooting are stored in the shooting condition database 106a as the optimum shooting conditions. The optimum photographing conditions can be managed intensively in a global system by the method described in the fourth embodiment as appropriate.
[0041]
As described above, according to the configuration in which the minimum necessary unique parameter group for the shooting type is centrally arranged and the input enabled state is controlled, the shooting conditions can be quickly and without complicated operations such as moving the mouse. Can be easily selected and set. As a result, it is possible to provide a user-friendly magnetic resonance imaging apparatus that reduces the operational burden on the operator. Further, the photographing time can be shortened, and the mental burden on the operator and the patient can be reduced.
[0042]
  Note that the display form and contents shown in FIG. 3 depend on the shooting type (in this case, the shooting type A). Therefore, if the shooting type is changed, the parameter arrangement and the cascade state are changed to the contents corresponding to the changed shooting type in principle. For example, when the shooting angle A as the shooting parameter is changed from the shooting type A in which the flip angle is displayed in cascade to the shooting type B in which the flip angle needs to be controlled, the flip angle is changed from the cascade display area shown in FIG.AdjustableChanged to parameter area.
[0043]
(Modification)
Next, a modified example of an interface that provides shooting conditions for each shooting type will be described.
[0044]
FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating another example of an interface that provides shooting conditions for each shooting type. In the configuration shown in FIG. 4, there is no cascade display portion as compared with FIG. 3, and only adjustable parameters are displayed and can be changed.
[0045]
  FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating another example of an interface that provides shooting conditions for each shooting type, and is an example in the case where the setting range of an adjustable parameter changes depending on the shooting type. For example, as shown in FIG.Parameter P2The upper limit of the setting range is P2U, and the lower limit is P2L. In this case, as a setting unique to the photographing type A, P2 may be configured to be set between P2L and P2U.
[0046]
Furthermore, when the adjustable parameter setting range changes depending on the shooting type, the concept of an intermediate value of the setting range can be introduced to appropriately control the switching between shooting types. is there.
[0047]
FIG. 6 shows the behavior of the interface when the shooting type B is changed to the shooting type A. In FIG. 6, P2 and P4 are standard parameters for the photographic type A, and the intermediate value P2M between P2L and P2U and the intermediate value P4M between P4L and P4U are recommended parameter values for the photographic type A. Suppose there is. The settable range of the shooting type B parameter P2 is different from the settable range of the shooting type A parameter P2. Further, the current value of P2 in the shooting type B is from the settable range of the shooting type A. Suppose that it is shifted.
[0048]
As shown in FIG. 6, when the shooting type B is changed to the shooting type A, the value of P2 needs to be included in the settable range for the shooting type A. In this photographing condition management function, P2M as a recommended value is set as the initial value of P2. In this way, by setting the parameter value to an intermediate value when switching the photographing type, it becomes easy to change the condition from the recommended condition.
[0049]
Even with the configuration described above, it is possible to quickly and easily select and set photographing conditions. As a result, it is possible to provide a user-friendly magnetic resonance imaging apparatus that reduces the operational burden on the operator.
[0050]
Next, more specific effects of the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus will be described by taking a T1W image using the spin echo method as an example and comparing it with a conventional example.
[0051]
In general, the signal intensity formula in the spin echo method is expressed as follows.
[0052]
[Expression 1]
[0053]
Here, T2 and T1 are the transverse relaxation time and longitudinal relaxation time of the tissue, TE is the echo time, and TR is the repetition time. To obtain a T1W image of the head, TE should be as small as possible, and TR should be the same or slightly smaller than the T1 value of white matter or gray matter. If it is 1.5T (Tesla), TR is about 500ms.
[0054]
Actually, another factor needs to be considered in order to obtain a T1W image with high contrast resolution. The spin echo method observes an NMR signal that is slice-excited and excited by a pair of 90 ° pulse and 180 ° pulse. Therefore, in multi-slice imaging, the selection characteristic of each pulse affects the contrast. For this reason, TE must actually take a large value to some extent, and the optimum value of TR may change. On the other hand, a required number of slices and slice thickness are required within a certain photographing time, and a certain level of spatial resolution is required. As described above, in order to obtain a high-quality T1W image, it is important to specify an optimum photographing condition from various restrictions and requirements.
[0055]
Such optimal shooting conditions rarely take a certain set of values, and may be changed flexibly within a certain range. For example, in the case of the above T1W image, it may be desired to increase the number of shots depending on the size of the subject's head. At this time, it is often the case that TR is slightly extended, but if it is extended too much, the contrast will deviate from T1W. In other words, it is necessary to determine the scope of clinically acceptable TR.
[0056]
As described above, in order to obtain a suitable image contrast, it is necessary to appropriately control various parameters. On the other hand, there are various parameters that do not significantly affect the main purpose of shooting, that is, do not affect acquisition of suitable image contrast. Conventionally, all these parameters are provided in the form shown in FIG. 11, for example, and can be selected and adjusted.
[0057]
On the other hand, according to the present magnetic resonance imaging apparatus, only parameters that greatly affect the main purpose of imaging, that is, parameters that are dominant in image contrast can be adjusted for each imaging type, and other parameters cannot be controlled. Is only displayed. Therefore, the operator can quickly and easily adjust parameters that affect the purpose of photographing, and can acquire a suitable contrast image.
[0058]
(Second Embodiment)
Next, a second embodiment will be described. The present embodiment provides a more user-friendly magnetic resonance imaging apparatus by changing the setting of adjustable parameter groups based on operation history information.
[0059]
FIG. 7 is a diagram showing an example of interface parameter settings provided by the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to the present embodiment. In the setting example of FIG. 7, the display position of the parameter is controlled based on the history information obtained by counting the number of changes of each parameter. For example, as shown in FIG. 7, parameters that are frequently changed (such as P9) are changed so that they are arranged at the upper left of the interface so that they are easy to use.
[0060]
In addition, as setting control based on other history information, there is a configuration in which the values set for each parameter are aggregated and the upper and lower limits of the settable range or the intermediate value is updated.
[0061]
Naturally, it is desirable to collect and manage such history information for each photographing type. Further, the update of the adjustable parameter group may be arbitrarily executed by the operator, or may be performed by a command of the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus itself. Further, it may be updated in accordance with an instruction from a device or software connected to the network. Furthermore, the frequency and timing of the update may be irregular (arbitrary) or may be regular.
[0062]
In this way, by referring to the history information such as the actual usage frequency totaling, it is possible to provide an interface according to the usage state of the operator.
[0063]
(Third embodiment)
Next, a third embodiment will be described.
[0064]
In recent years, data processing specific to a specific photographing type is often required. Processing images and data itself is becoming increasingly important, such as quantification in diagnostic images and improved explanatory power in informed consent. Therefore, it is required to easily handle not only the shooting parameters for each shooting type but also the processing parameters related to specific processing to be performed on the shooting type by the interface.
[0065]
Furthermore, as a recent trend, it is important to execute a pulse sequence according to the inspection purpose. In image diagnosis, a plurality of contrast images are compared to determine tissue properties and diagnose the presence of a diseased part. In this way, protocols such as imaging and data processing are set according to the purpose of the inspection, and the imaging conditions for each inspection type are also considered as information to be handled by the interface. Note that the inspection type refers to a type including the entire protocol including all of imaging, data processing, and the like necessary for the specific inspection for the purpose of a specific inspection.
[0066]
Therefore, in this embodiment, the imaging conditions are managed for each examination type that combines a specific imaging type and a specific processing type that performs a specific process on the specific imaging type, and a predetermined form interface is provided. The apparatus which performs is demonstrated referring FIG. 8, FIG.
[0067]
FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing the operation sequence of the apparatus 10 from the definition of the examination type to the execution of the defined examination type. In FIG. 9, first, an examination type is defined by associating an imaging type to be executed with a processing type for performing a predetermined process on the imaging type (step S11). The imaging condition management unit 106 a stores the defined examination type and imaging conditions related to the examination type in the storage device 111.
[0068]
FIG. 8 shows a table showing the correspondence between imaging and processing in a certain examination type. As shown in FIG. 8, the examination type 1 is composed of three imaging types (A, B, C) and three processing types (a, b, c). The processing type a corresponds to the shooting type A. This indicates that when the photographing type A is photographed, the processing type a is determined to be performed. Specifically, for example, in a diffusion-weighted image, when a diffusion-weighted pulse is applied to three orthogonal axes, it is usual to create a so-called Isotropic image. In addition, the maximum projection (MIP) in MR angiography, statistical processing in fMRI and fitting to the standard brain, quantitative calculation in cardiac function tests, creation of various calculation images in Perfusion imaging, etc. The importance of processing is increasing.
[0069]
The contents of the imaging type and the processing type are defined in advance. However, if necessary, they can be newly defined by a predetermined operation. Further, the definition of the inspection type, the imaging type, and the processing type may be a configuration provided in advance by the manufacturer.
[0070]
Next, an examination type selection menu is presented (step S12), and when the operator selects a desired examination type, the imaging condition management unit 106a reads out the imaging type and the processing type constituting the selected examination type. For example, it is displayed in the form shown in FIG. 8 (step S13).
[0071]
Next, for example, the shooting type A is executed (step S14), and then the processing type a corresponding to the shooting type A is executed (step S15). At each execution time of the shooting type A and the processing type a, shooting conditions are provided in the form described above.
[0072]
Subsequently, the imaging type B, the processing type b, the imaging type C, and the processing type c are executed, and the inspection type 1 is terminated.
[0073]
The interface configured as described above makes it possible to easily select and execute a protocol assembled in accordance with the inspection purpose.
[0074]
In addition, whether or not the examination type is necessary in a certain diagnosis tree is determined, and is often determined before the start of imaging. Therefore, the operator can greatly reduce the number of times of setting by the index of the inspection type, and can speed up the work.
[0075]
(Fourth embodiment)
Next, a fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In this embodiment, the optimum shooting conditions (that is, optimum parameter setting values and setting ranges) as know-how determined quickly and simply by each facility with a higher degree of freedom are centrally managed to protect these information. An information providing system for providing to other facilities for a fee or free of charge or feeding back to the manufacturer will be described.
[0076]
FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a configuration of a system according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 10, this system has a communication device, and includes a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 provided in each medical facility (in FIG. 10, hospital A, hospital B, and hospital C), and an imaging condition collection unit 12. And an imaging condition management unit 13. Each device and each unit are connected by an information communication network, and information communication is possible.
[0077]
The imaging condition collection unit 12 collects and accumulates imaging conditions from the target magnetic resonance imaging apparatus at a necessary timing. This collection timing may be instructed from the collection unit side or may be instructed from the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10. The information stored in the collection unit is used as a reference material for user interface development, and is used to create an interface specialized for each operator.
[0078]
The photographing condition management unit 13 includes an information storage server 130, a license management authentication server 131, and a billing server 132. The information storage server 130 collects and stores imaging condition information obtained from each magnetic resonance imaging apparatus. The license management authentication server 131 issues or authenticates a license that defines whether or not to provide services related to imaging conditions to individual operators and magnetic resonance imaging apparatuses. The billing server 132 calculates and settles a fee using the managed shooting condition information and service.
[0079]
(Shooting condition management and provision service)
Next, an imaging condition management / providing service executed by the present system will be described.
[0080]
First, the imaging condition information stored in the storage device 111 of each magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 is transferred by the communication device 120 to the imaging condition collection unit 12 through the information communication network. Further, the shooting condition information transferred to the shooting condition collection unit 12 is automatically and appropriately stored in the information storage server 130 of the shooting condition management unit 13. If the photographing condition collection unit 12 or the photographing condition management unit 13 is a dedicated server of the manufacturer, the photographing conditions can be automatically fed back.
[0081]
Further, the imaging condition information to be transferred may be the imaging condition database itself, or information extracted from the database and processed from the viewpoint of reducing the amount of communication data. In the latter case, the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 further includes a device that processes the imaging condition information for communication. Further, the transfer timing may be an arbitrary timing by the operator, or may be a command from the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus itself. Further, it may be transferred in accordance with instructions from another magnetic resonance imaging apparatus connected to the information communication network, the imaging condition collection unit 12 and the imaging condition management unit 13.
[0082]
Next, at a desired timing, a predetermined licensee having a license to use the system (for example, a hospital official, a manufacturer, a maintenance provider, etc.) receives imaging conditions via the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 or a predetermined terminal. The management unit 130 is requested to acquire shooting condition information. At this time, from the viewpoint of security, the license management authentication server 131 confirms that the entity requesting information acquisition is a licensee, that is, authenticates the access right. For example, this authentication can be generally performed by inputting a password or inputting a licensee ID. When the access right is authenticated by the license management authentication server 131, the requested sensor can access the information storage server 130 and download desired photographing conditions.
[0083]
Note that a license issuance procedure is executed by the license management authentication server 131 by a predetermined operation for a user who wishes to acquire a new license instead of a user who already has a license.
[0084]
In order to provide a user-friendly system, the licensee side apparatus 10 or terminal may be configured to execute a program for acquiring the photographing condition information or a program for issuing a license.
[0085]
Next, when providing the shooting condition information for a fee, the billing server 132 calculates an information provision fee for each licensee, and automatically performs a settlement such as a withdrawal from a bank account via the information communication network. To run.
[0086]
According to such a configuration, unique imaging conditions created by each hospital, facility, doctor, etc. can be fed back to development, and the value of unique imaging conditions can be protected and provided to others for a fee or free of charge. It becomes possible to do.
[0087]
In addition, when there are a plurality of magnetic resonance imaging apparatuses in a facility such as a hospital, there may be a configuration in which a repeater that performs information communication between each magnetic resonance imaging apparatus and an external apparatus via an information communication network is provided. Good (see hospital C in FIG. 10). In addition, the same effect can be obtained even in a configuration in which a unit in which the photographing condition collection unit 12 and the photographing condition management unit 13 are integrated is provided.
[0088]
When the imaging condition collection unit 12 or the imaging condition management unit 13 is a dedicated server of the manufacturer, the fed back imaging conditions are verified by the manufacturer's magnetic resonance imaging apparatus and then provided to the requested licensee. It may be configured to. By adopting such a configuration, it is possible to provide further suitable photographing conditions with further improvements, and it can also be used as an effective information source for product development. Furthermore, the information provider (in this case, the licensee) can use the information with confidence because the information has been verified by the manufacturer.
[0089]
Although the present invention has been described based on the embodiments, those skilled in the art can come up with various changes and modifications within the scope of the idea of the present invention. It is understood that it belongs to the scope of the present invention. For example, as shown below, various modifications can be made without changing the gist thereof.
[0090]
In each of the above embodiments, the imaging condition for each imaging type stored in advance in the imaging condition database 111a is used. This is because it is difficult for a general user to separate a parameter to be adjusted in a specific photographing type from a parameter that is not. However, the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 has an imaging condition editing function for each imaging type, so that the user can define parameters that can be adjusted for a specific imaging type, a parameter setting range, and the like as new imaging conditions. It may be a configuration.
[0091]
Further, the embodiments may be combined as appropriate as possible, and in that case, the combined effect can be obtained. Furthermore, the above embodiments include inventions at various stages, and various inventions can be extracted by appropriately combining a plurality of disclosed constituent elements. For example, even if some constituent requirements are deleted from all the constituent requirements shown in the embodiment, the problem described in the column of the problem to be solved by the invention can be solved, and the effect described in the column of the effect of the invention If at least one of the following is obtained, a configuration in which this configuration requirement is deleted can be extracted as an invention.
[0092]
【The invention's effect】
As described above, according to the present invention, it is possible to realize a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus capable of quickly and easily selecting and setting optimal imaging parameters and the like for each imaging type.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a schematic configuration of a magnetic resonance imaging apparatus 10 according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 2 is a diagram for explaining shooting condition management executed by a shooting condition management unit 106a;
FIG. 3 is a diagram showing shooting conditions corresponding to the shooting type displayed on the display device 112;
FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating another example of an interface that provides shooting conditions for each shooting type.
FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating another example of an interface that provides shooting conditions for each shooting type, and is an example in the case where the setting range of an adjustable parameter changes depending on the shooting type; .
FIG. 6 shows the behavior of the interface when the shooting type B is changed to the shooting type A;
FIG. 7 is a diagram showing an example of interface parameter settings provided by the magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 8 is a table showing a correspondence relationship between imaging and processing in a certain inspection type.
FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing the operation sequence of the apparatus 10 from the definition of the examination type to the execution of the defined examination type.
FIG. 10 is a diagram illustrating a configuration of a system according to the present embodiment.
FIG. 11 is a diagram showing an example of a user interface for controlling imaging parameters and processing parameters of a conventional magnetic resonance imaging apparatus.
[Explanation of symbols]
10. Magnetic resonance imaging device
12 ... Shooting condition collection unit
13 ... Shooting condition management unit
101 ... Magnet
102: Static magnetic field power source
103 ... Gradient magnetic field coil unit
103x. 103y ... Coil
104 ... Gradient magnetic field power supply
105 ... Sequencer
106: Host computer
106a ... Shooting condition management unit
107 ... RF coil
108T ... Transmitter
108R ... Receiver
110: Arithmetic unit
111 ... Storage device
111a ... Shooting condition database
112 ... Display device
113 ... Input device
114 ... shim coil
115: Shim coil power supply
120: Communication device
130: Information storage server
131 ... License management authentication server
132: Billing server

Claims (14)

  1.   A plurality of conditions that can be set with respect to a photographing type indicating a photographing type for obtaining a predetermined contrast image are classified into a first condition that is desirably controlled by an operator and a second condition that is not desirably controlled by the operator. Storage means for storing each photographing type;
      A selection means for selecting a shooting type;
      Display means for displaying the first condition corresponding to the selected photographing type in a first form;
      Changing means for changing at least one of the displayed first conditions;
      Control means for performing control relating to the selected photographing type in accordance with the second condition and the changed first condition;
      A magnetic resonance imaging apparatus comprising:
  2.   A plurality of conditions that can be set with respect to a photographing type indicating a photographing type for obtaining a predetermined contrast image are classified into a first condition that is dominant in the contrast of the image and a second condition other than that, and photographing is performed. Storage means for storing each species;
      A selection means for selecting a shooting type;
      Display means for displaying the first condition corresponding to the selected photographing type in a first form;
      Changing means for changing at least one of the displayed first conditions;
      Control means for performing control relating to the selected photographing type in accordance with the second condition and the changed first condition;
      A magnetic resonance imaging apparatus comprising:
  3.   The storage means stores a settable range of the first condition for each photographing type,
      The changing means can change at least one of the first conditions in the settable range;
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
  4.   The storage means classifies and stores a plurality of conditions that can be set with respect to a processing type indicating a predetermined process executed according to a shooting type, as the first condition and the second condition,
      The selection means is capable of selecting a processing type,
      The display means displays the first condition corresponding to the processing type selected by the selection means in a first form,
      The changing means can change at least one of the first conditions corresponding to the displayed processing type,
      The control means performs control related to the selected processing type according to the second condition and the changed first condition.
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
  5.   The storage means stores a settable range of the first condition for each processing type,
      The changing means can change at least one of the first conditions related to the selected processing type within the settable range;
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 4.
  6.   The storage means classifies and stores a plurality of conditions that can be set for examination types including at least a plurality of imaging types into the first condition and the second condition,
      The selection means is capable of selecting an examination type,
      The display means includes the first item corresponding to the inspection type selected by the selection means. Display the case in the first form,
      The changing means can change at least one of the first conditions corresponding to the displayed examination type,
      When the control means performs control related to the selected inspection type according to the second condition and the changed first condition,
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
  7.   The storage means stores a settable range of the first condition for each examination type,
      The changing means can change at least one of the first conditions related to the selected examination type within the settable range;
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 6.
  8.   The first condition is to allow control by an operator,
      The second condition is that the control by the operator is prohibited.
      The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein:
  9.   2. The display unit according to claim 1, wherein the display unit reads the second condition corresponding to the selected inspection type, imaging type, or processing type, and displays the second condition in a second form. The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1.
  10.   The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the second form is hatching display.
  11.   The first form is a form arranged in a predetermined order from conditions with a high change frequency, or a form in which at least one of an upper limit, a lower limit, and an intermediate value of the settable range is updated based on history information. The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1.
  12.   When the selected inspection type, imaging type, or processing type is changed, the display means reads the first condition corresponding to the changed inspection type, imaging type, or processing type, and The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein one condition is displayed.
  13.   When the selected inspection type or imaging type or processing type is changed, the display means reads the first condition corresponding to the changed inspection type or imaging type or processing type, and The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first condition is set to a recommended value and displayed.
  14.   Means for registering a settable range of a plurality of conditions that can be set when executing at least one of a predetermined inspection type, imaging type, and processing type in the storage unit for each inspection type, imaging type, or processing type; The magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
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