Research NewsMedical Imaging

New Technique Maps the Body Electric

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Science  02 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5313, pp. 681
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5313.681

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A new imaging technology may be emerging from the physics world. Last month, a meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine in Vancouver saw the introduction of Hall-effect imaging (HEI), a strategy for combining ultrasound with magnets and electrodes to map variations in the electrical conductivity of tissues. HEI could allow clinicians to distinguish tumors, fatty plaques, or areas of ischemia from normal tissue, something that's difficult with ordinary ultrasound.