MRI: The Basics

Now in its updated Third Edition, Small Animals MRI: The Basics is an easy-to-read introduction to the physics behind MR imaging. The subject is presented in a clear, user-friendly, clinically relevant fashion, with large-size, legible equations, state-of-the-art images and instructive diagrams, and questions and answers that are ideal for board review. The American Journal of Radiology praised the previous edition as “an excellent text for introducing the basic concepts to individuals interested in clinical MRI contrast agent.”

This edition spans the gamut from basic physics to multi-use MR options to specific applications, and has dozens of new images. Coverage reflects the latest advances in MRI and includes completely new chapters on k-space, parallel imaging, cardiac MRI, and MR spectroscopy.

This 300 page paper back has 400 high quality and relevant illustrations (mainly diagrams and line drawings) that greatly help to illustrate some otherwise difficult-to-grasp concepts. The emphasis is on the how and why of magnetic resonance imaging, not on the interpretation of the images.
The authors have successfully negotiated the narrow difference between a book that is filled with mind numbing details and one which is over simplified with a trivial approach. While not getting bogged down in minutia that are endlessly fascinating to physicists, but demoralizing to many physicians, they haven’t avoided the concepts which form the basis of MRI such as, K-space, Fourier transform and pulse sequences. Nor have newer scanning techniques that involve tissue suppression and MRA been slighted.
At the end of each chapter a succinct “Key Points” section emphasizes the most relevant features of the preceeding chapter. Also included at the end of each chapter is a self-assessment quiz (with answers at the end of the book).
This book is excellent for MR technologists, radiology residents in board preparation and non-radiolgist physicians who want to get up-to-speed in this exciting and rapidly growing subdiscipline of diagnostic imaging.

I recently had to study for a board exam and was struggling with really grasping how MRI works, and I have a Bachelor’s in physics! My mentor suggested this book, and after thumbing through her copy I immediately purchased one for myself. It gives an excellent overview and simple breakdown of everything from magnetization physics to how pulse sequences work. This is a great resource for anyone from the average consumer who’s curious about MRI to the tech just starting in his/her studies.

MRI:the Basics” was my first introduction to MRI. It did get me into the field quickly. However, there are some major flaws in this book.
The chapters on frequency/phase encoding is badly written. The basic mechanics is described in an imprecise way that it is misleading, if not completely wrong at some points. This leads to inconsistencies in many places, and makes the treatment of k-space unsatisfying. (That’s pretty much all the major important topics in basic MRI!)
I still recommend it to newbies. But always consult a more technical book (for example, Liang and Lauterbur) when in doubt.


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