UCL News


Scientists from UCL and Gold Standard Phantoms build the first ever brain imaging phantom to calibrate MRI scanners

3 November 2016

MRI scanners are increasingly being used to look for signs of dementia.

Example Perfusion Phantom This is currently being done by looking for brain volume changes, such as shrinkage, and the images are simply looked at by radiologists, and then are graded as being "normal", "slightly abnormal" or "very abnormal" depending on the loss of grey matter present in the images.

Professor Frederik Barkhof, Neuroradiologist at UCL, explains the need to move beyond that level of subjectivity and to be able to make quantitative assessments in order to spot signs of disease earlier. 

Prof Xavier Golay, MRI Physicist at UCL & CEO of Gold Standard Phantoms, has been working for over 20 years on using MRI to measure blood flow to the brain, but in order to get accurate, reproducible results across hospitals and centres MRI scanners need to be calibrated.

Gold Standard Phantoms have built the first ever perfusion brain imaging phantom on the market. It roughly represents what is happening in the heart, neck and brain and enables MRI scanners to be accurately calibrated in order to eliminate technical variability when measuring perfusion. They have also built an online platform so that the images can be shown to be equivalent across different hospitals.

ASL Perfusion Phantom - Introduction