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Editor's Note
Sep 2011

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words: Comment on “Transformation in Mandibular Imaging With Sweep Imaging With Fourier Transform Magnetic Resonance Imaging”

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2011;137(9):920. doi:10.1001/archoto.2011.156

This brief communication by Kendi et al is a potential glance at where imaging could be. “Could be” is the operative portion of that phrase. Obtained on a 9T machine, with an ex vivo sample of a tumor-involved mandible, and incredible resolution, this is not something that we will be ordering and obtaining on the 1.5T standard head coil machine down the street anytime in the near future. As with many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) advances, these images are dependent not only on the equipment but also on the software. The sequence—as first demonstrated to me several years ago with an MRI of teeth—was then, as it is now, quite unique and much different than the pulse sequences that we in the imaging community learned of in studying MR physics. And the special bonus: it is quiet. No knocking and banging of gradient coils.

This is an early communication and shows potential. It is not guaranteed. I have seen many sequences and other imaging styles with great promise that did not deliver. Movement from the research to the clinical venue is always difficult and never a sure thing, but the images speak volumes. A picture can be worth a thousand words. We will all be awaiting development of this technique.