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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kathleen M. Schmainda, PhD (Medical College of Wisconsin)
Description: This book provides a brief, largely comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles and applications of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Purpose: The purpose is to provide core knowledge on MRI theory in an accessible format. This is a very worthy objective in today's fast-paced, information-dense world. For the most part the book does meet this objective. Where it falls short is as a more complete and accurate account of newer MRI methods such as perfusion and diffusion imaging and echo planar imaging.
Audience: The book is written for both students and practitioners who have to use or learn about MRI. It also is worthwhile for experienced MRI personnel who need a quick review on a particular topic or it could be used as a good reference for an introductory MRI course. The author is a credible authority given her experience in teaching and writing about MRI. However, some lack of experience and/or knowledge is evident when discussing newer topics and clinical applications. For example, the technical descriptions of diffusion and BOLD (blood oxygenation level dependent) methods as well as the discussion of stroke and malignancies contain some significant errors.
Features: The strength of this book lies in its a brief, two-page synopsis of much of MRI. Some nice added features include simple clear figures, and a table comparing the names of vendor-specific pulse sequences. This type of table is helpful to MRI personnel at all levels. In large part the chapters stand alone, but at the same time refer to other chapters to provide more detail. The strength of the book, as a brief introductory overview, is also its weakness. Reviews such as this often compromise accuracy for brevity. In some cases, however, the inaccuracies are not due to brevity, but are simply wrong. Even so, I would recommend this book as a good first introduction to MRI.
Assessment: The format and goal of this book is better than most other introductory MRI books in that it remains brief, yet provides coverage of a wide range of the most relevant MRI topics. A follow-up book with better coverage of newer MRI methods, along with corrections of any inaccuracies would be worthwhile. Also, application-specific MRI books like this might be useful, for example, a clinician's handbook for using MRI in the brain, abdomen, heart etc.