"A fibre optic bundle is comprised of a plurality of optical fibres. When an optical fibre is interrupted, the pixels of light of the transmitted image carried by the interrupted fibre are blocked. This situation results in dead pixels, e.g., black spots that appear on the video display. As the length of the fibre optic bundle is increased, the probability that individual fibres will be broken increases. Further, as the fibre optic bundle is bent and manipulated over a period of time, the number of broken fibres increases. An increasing number of broken fibres results in a greater number of black spots appearing on the video display. Eventually, the transmitted image becomes inadequate and distorted. Thus, long fibre optic bundles are not cost effective.
"During an MRI examination, the patient is positioned upon an examination table which can be moved into and out of the MRI scanner tunnel. When lying upon the examination table within the scanner tunnel, the patient's head is positioned within a head coil. The head coil is arranged to surround the patient's head and to provide MRI images thereof. An advanced design of MRI scanner head coils minimizes the distance between the patient's eyes and the top of the head coil. The limited distance between the patient's head and the head coil would be inadequate to accommodate the goggles employed by known MRI fibre optic systems that (a) position the image from the LCD display within the scanner tunnel or (b) employ a reflecting mirror over the patient's eyes.
"The advance of the functional imaging field requires implementation of visual activation paradigms that are becoming more sophisticated. During functional imaging, the best results are achieved when the visual stimulus is controlled which is inconsistent with an open field of view. Further, this method of visual activation does not include the ability to generate three-dimensional (3D) images for patient viewing since the image is projected onto a single screen. The inability to create a condition is which the eye and brain perceive a 3D effect prevents virtual reality from being achieved.
"Further, the development of new and smaller head coils limits the distance between the patient's head and the head coil, putting restraints on the size of the goggles to be used within the head coil. Together with the introduction of MR machines with higher field strength both in the clinical and research field, the shielding of the MR goggles to avoid generation of any stray magnetic fields or disruption of signal modulation by radio frequency is becoming increasingly important.
"The use of functional imaging in clinical work also requires devices that are fast and easy to set up and operate in a tight clinical schedule. Easy positioning of the device and effective eye correction features are crucial elements to achieve a satisfactory clinical workflow.
"Thus, there is a need in the art for an improvement in video systems for use with MRI scanners which provide high resolution video images with a three-dimensional effect, shortens the transmission paths that the video image must travel, eliminates the problems associated with fibre optic bundles, is sized to fit within the limited space of modern head coil designs, is sufficiently shielded to avoid image artefacts and can be mounted and operated within the MRI magnetic field."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "According to the present invention, the above mentioned improvements are solved by means of an apparatus according to the characterizing clauses of claims 1 and 6. Further preferred embodiments and improvements are obtained by the features given in the dependent claims."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Vangdal, Vegard.
Keywords for this news article include: Nordicneurolab AS.
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