Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

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Science  19 Mar 1971:
Vol. 171, Issue 3976, pp. 1151-1153
DOI: 10.1126/science.171.3976.1151


Spin echo nuclear magnetic resonance measurements may be used as a method for discriminating between malignant tumors and normal tissue. Measurements of spin-lattice (T1) and spin-spin (T2) magnetic relaxation times were made in six normal tissues in the rat (muscle, kidney, stomach, intestine, brain, and liver) and in two malignant solid tumors, Walker sarcoma and Novikoff hepatoma. Relaxation times for the two malignant tumors were distinctly outside the range of values for the normal tissues studied, an indication that the malignant tissues were characterized by an increase in the motional freedom of tissue water molecules. The possibility of using magnetic relaxation methods for rapid discrimination between benign and malignant surgical specimens has also been considered. Spin-lattice relaxation times for two benign fibroadenomas were distinct from those for both malignant tissues and were the same as those of muscle.

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