Ocular MRI

Jan-Willem Beenakker, Teresa Ferreira, Lorna Grech-Fonk, Myriam Jaarsma, Luc van Vught
Funding: NWO HTSM-14654 Protons4Vision, ESCRS vRESPOND

As a non-invasive and versatile imaging technique, MRI has a lot to add to the conventional ophthalmic imaging techniques. MRI can, for example, assess the inside of non-transparent tissues such as a tumour. MRI also is able to make a 3D model of the eye and surrounding tissues, which is not possible with optical techniques. However, MRI is very susceptible to eye-motion, which used to prevent the clinical application of this powerful imaging modality. Within our group we on the one hand develop new MRI techniques while on the other hand we implement and validate them for different ocular conditions, in particular for ocular tumours and refractive surgery. 

To acquire high-resolution MR-images of the eye we designed dedicated eye-coils to achieve the highest image quality, while different strategies, such as the cued-blinking protocol, were developed to mitigate eye-motion artefacts.  Currently various quantitative MRI techniques, including dynamic contrast enhanced MRI and fingerprinting, have been adapted for the eyes and are being evaluated as a tool to improve the differentiation between different ocular lesions.

These new techniques enable us to significantly improve the care of Uveal Melanoma, the most common primary ocular tumor. Together with the ophthalmologists, we have shown that the 3D MR-images allow for a better determination of the tumor geometry. As a result some patients become eligible of eye-preserving therapy, which significantly improves their quality of life. Currently our efforts focus on the development of an MRI-based treatment planning for proton therapy.

  • TA Ferreira, P Saravia, SW Gender, Mv Buchem, GPM Luyten, JWM Beenakker, CT and MR imaging of orbital inflammation, Neur radiol. Early online (2018)
  • J Wezel, A Garpebring, AG Webb, MJ van Osch, JWM Beenakker, Automated eye blink detection and correction method for clinical MR eye imaging, Magn Reson Med. 78: 165-171 (2017)
  • JWM Beenakker, T Ferreira, KP Soemarwoto, S Genders, W Teeuwissen, AG Webb, GPM Luyten. Clinical evaluation of ultra high field MRI for the diagnosis of uveal melanoma, Magn Reson Mater Phy 29: 571 (2016)
  • JWM Beenakker, DP Shamoin, AG Webb, GPM Luyten, BC Stoel, Automated retinal topographic maps measured with MRI. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 56, 1033–1039 (2015).
  • JWM Beenakker, GA van Rijn, GPM Luyten, AG Webb, “High resolution MRI of uveal melanoma using a micro-coil phased array at 7 Tesla”, NMR in Biomedicine 26, 1864 (2013)

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Dedicated eye coil for clinical MR-imaging of the eye

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MR-image of an eye with a Uveal Melanoma

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Quantitative analysis of the bloodflow (DCE MRI) of an ocular tumor

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Patient-specific eye-model based on MRI-data to study the optical origin of refractive conditions.