Portable, bedside, low-field magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of intracerebral hemorrhage

Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 25;12(1):5119. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25441-6.


Radiological examination of the brain is a critical determinant of stroke care pathways. Accessible neuroimaging is essential to detect the presence of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) operates at high magnetic field strength (1.5-3 T), which requires an access-controlled environment, rendering MRI often inaccessible. We demonstrate the use of a low-field MRI (0.064 T) for ICH evaluation. Patients were imaged using conventional neuroimaging (non-contrast computerized tomography (CT) or 1.5/3 T MRI) and portable MRI (pMRI) at Yale New Haven Hospital from July 2018 to November 2020. Two board-certified neuroradiologists evaluated a total of 144 pMRI examinations (56 ICH, 48 acute ischemic stroke, 40 healthy controls) and one ICH imaging core lab researcher reviewed the cases of disagreement. Raters correctly detected ICH in 45 of 56 cases (80.4% sensitivity, 95%CI: [0.68-0.90]). Blood-negative cases were correctly identified in 85 of 88 cases (96.6% specificity, 95%CI: [0.90-0.99]). Manually segmented hematoma volumes and ABC/2 estimated volumes on pMRI correlate with conventional imaging volumes (ICC = 0.955, p = 1.69e-30 and ICC = 0.875, p = 1.66e-8, respectively). Hematoma volumes measured on pMRI correlate with NIH stroke scale (NIHSS) and clinical outcome (mRS) at discharge for manual and ABC/2 volumes. Low-field pMRI may be useful in bringing advanced MRI technology to resource-limited settings.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / economics
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging / economics
  • Neuroimaging / instrumentation
  • Neuroimaging / methods