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Scientific Discovery and the Future of Medicine
September 8, 2015

Pushing the Limits of Human Neuroimaging

Author Affiliations
  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Massachusetts General Hospital–East, Charlestown
JAMA. 2015;314(10):993-994. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10229

Since the advent and widespread adoption of computed tomography (CT) in the 1970s and the subsequent development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) roughly a decade later, clinicians have increasingly used these powerful imaging technologies to diagnose disease and monitor treatments in myriad clinical settings. None have proven of greater value than in imaging the brain. From initial studies of acute intracranial hemorrhage and defining cerebral neoplasms, understanding diseases of the central nervous system in patients often starts with the superb anatomical images these technologies afford. High-resolution 3D views of arterial and venous vasculature with clear definition of gray and white matter and subcortical/brainstem structures, the ventricular system, dura and meninges, and bony calvarium are available in minutes (with MRI) or even seconds (with CT).

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