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WHY DR. DAMADIAN’S DISCOVERY IS THE KEY
TO ALL MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING

“The initial concept for the medical application of NMR, as it was then called, originated with the discovery by Raymond Damadian in 1971 that certain mouse tumours displayed elevated relaxation times compared with normal tissues in vitro. This exciting discovery opened the door for a complete new way of imaging the human body where the potential contrast between tissues and diseases was many times greater than that offered by X-ray technology and ultrasound.” MRI From Picture To Proton, McRobbie, Moore, Graves and Prince, (Cambridge University Press, 2003).

In 1970, Raymond Damadian, M.D., made the seminal discovery that started MRI, namely that there is a marked difference in T1 and T2 relaxation times between normal and abnormal tissues of the same type, as well as between different types of normal tissues.(Science, 1971)

This discovery is significant because the ability to visualize both normal and diseased tissue in a MR image is primarily determined by these marked differences in T1 and T2 relaxation times. That is, T1 and T2 provide the image contrast missing in the prior technologies, X-ray and ultrasound.

That T1 and T2 relaxation times (T1 and T2 images) are the basis of all magnetic resonance imaging used for medical diagnosis is a well-known and universally accepted fact.

For example, the FONAR CORP. v. GENERAL ELEC. CO. United States Courts of Appeals summary (1997), as affirmed by the United States Supreme Court and reported in the Federal Reporter, says:

“GE’s expert witness agreed that T1- and T2-weighted images were images whose contrast was primarily determined by differences in T1 and T2.”

The significance of Dr.Damadian’s discovery as it relates to Magnetic Resonance Imaging is clear. His discovery preceded all MR imaging, and is responsible for the powerful diagnostic capabilities and widespread use of MRI today.

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