Diagnostic imaging, neurology  

Leiden and Utrecht Universities choose Philips 7 Tesla MRI scanner for advanced neurological disease research

8 June 2006

Eindhoven, Netherlands. Leiden University Medical Centre and University Medical Centre Utrecht have each awarded a contract to Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHI) to supply a Philips Achieva 7.0T magnetic resonance whole body research system. The contracts are part of project to establish a Dutch national institute focused on 7.0 Tesla MR technology to improve understanding of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis.

The two new systems, the first 7.0T MR systems in the Netherlands, will support the establishment of the national Virtual Institute for Seven Tesla Applications (VISTA), a partnership with Dutch universities for the exploration of the clinical benefits of ultra high-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The Philips Achieva 7.0T is capable of producing an excellent level of imaging detail allowing clinical researchers to improve their understanding of physiology and cognitive processes of the brain and of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis, with excellent accuracy. Researchers at participating Dutch universities and Philips Medical Systems will collaborate with VISTA to develop ideas and share information through annual workshops, forums, panels and internet communications that will further advance applications of this new medical technology.

“The advanced capability of the Philips Achieva 7.0Tesla MR research system will enable us to increase our knowledge and understanding of some of medicine’s most challenging areas,” said Peter Luyten, senior MR researcher at the University Medical Centre Utrecht. “Although ultra high-field MR research is still in its early stages, it is already clear that it could help provide significant insights into the diagnosis, intervention and treatment of degenerative neurological diseases. And ultimately many new applications outside the brain will become possible by means of this new technology platform as well.”

“Our intention is that VISTA will become a global centre of excellence for ultra high-field MR research, capitalizing on expertise from within the Netherlands as well as attracting researchers from across the world that will lead to innovations that will have direct clinical benefits,” continued Luyten.

“Dedicated research institutes like VISTA will give researchers access to MR technology that has previously been unattainable and will help build on the promising results that this technology has already shown,” said Dr. Jacques Coumans, PhD, vice president global marketing, MR, for Philips Medical Systems. “Improvements in our knowledge of 7.0T MR technology will also have benefits for all of Philips MR systems, including our Achieva 3.0 Tesla and 1.5 Tesla clinical MR systems, through the trickle-down effect of ultra high-field gradient and RF innovations and by helping improve results and discover new applications for these lower Tesla systems.”

Philips is currently the only company to have a fully operational 7.0T MR whole body research system for clinical research in a corporate environment at its facility in Cleveland. It is also working in partnerships with some of the world’s leading medical research centers on the development of the Philips 7.0T MR program, including Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University in the USA, the University of Nottingham in the UK and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). This program is focused on pushing the development of 7.0T innovations, in partnership with researchers and clinicians, and migrating these advances to routine clinical applications.

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