In the past few decades, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has become an indispensable tool in modern medicine, with MRI systems now available at every major hospital in the developed world. But for all its utility and prevalence, it is much less commonly understood and less readily explained than other common medical imaging techniques. Unlike optical, ultrasonic, X-ray (including CT), and nuclear medicine-based imaging, MRI does not rely primarily on simple transmission and/or reflection of energy, and the highest achievable resolution in MRI is orders of magnitude smaller that the smallest wavelength involved.
In this book, MRI will be explained with emphasis on the magnetic fields required, their generation, their concomitant electric fields, the various interactions of all these fields with the subject being imaged, and the implications of these interactions to image quality and patient safety. Classical electromagnetics will be used to describe aspects from the fundamental phenomenon of nuclear precession through signal detection and MRI safety. Simple explanations and Illustrations combined with pertinent equations are designed to help the reader rapidly gain a fundamental understanding and an appreciation of this technology as it is used today, as well as ongoing advances that will increase its value in the future. Numerous references are included to facilitate further study with an emphasis on areas most directly related to electromagnetics.