Neuroscience Research Program

Imaging

Imaging station St. Michael’s neuroimaging scientists actively participate in research projects spanning all three of the Neuroscience Research Programs research priorities (stroke, neurotrauma and neurodegenerative research), supporting the vision of the program to inspire excellence, innovation and collaboration. For more information on neuroimaging at St. Michael's Hospital, please visit the medical imaging page.

Neuroimaging equipment and services available at St. Michael’s include:

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Neuroangiography

Angiography is the study of blood vessels and organs by injecting contrast media (X-ray dye) into arteries or veins, and taking X-ray images as the contrast media flows through these blood vessels. This allows for advanced diagnosis of neurovascular disease involving the brain and spine. In addition, the interventional neuroradiology team is able to treat many conditions, such as cerebral aneurysms and vascular malformations of the brain and spinal cord using minimally invasive endovascular techniques. The Medical Imaging department has a dedicated state-of-the-art bi-plane flat-panel angiography suite dedicated to neurovascular work.

Computed Tomography (CT Scan)

Computer Tomography (CT) scanning is a non-invasive cross sectional imaging modality which uses X-rays and computer reconstruction to generate axial images of the body. CT scanning can provide high detail imaging of the brain, and can also provide non-invasive imaging of the head and neck vasculature (CT angiography).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a painless non-invasive diagnostic procedure that allows physicians to see detailed images of the internal structures of the brain and spine without using X-rays. This technology uses a large magnet and radiofrequency energy to generate images of the body. MRI is non-invasive and does not use ionizing radiation. MRI provides truly multi-planar imaging capability and superior soft tissue contrast when compared to other modalities such as CT scans. MRI brain scans can illustrate the differences between healthy and diseased or damaged brain tissue more clearly than ever before, and can provide important information about brain function. Vascular disease can be studied non-invasively with magnetic resonance angiography, time resolved MRA, and magnetic resonance perfusion techniques. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) give scientists unique insights into brain structure-function correlates. There are a wide array of pulse sequences designed to show different aspects of neuroanatomy and physiology, providing a superb platform for research trials. St. Michael's Hospital’s MRI department is equipped with four state-of-the-art MRI scanners. This includes two 3 Tesla wide-bore MRI scanners, one of which is dedicated 100 per cent to research (with a matching clinical system). The two 1.5T scanners are primarily designated for clinical use, but are also available for research.