PhD defense of Mike van Rijssel

On 26 November at 14:30, Mike van Rijssel will defend his thesis entitled: “Artifact Correction and Signal Quantification in High Field Breast MRI.”


Breast MRI is a valuable imaging tool in the clinic, especially for tumor evaluation prior to surgery and treatment monitoring. Currently, breast MRI is performed in the clinic using magnetic field strengths up to 3 tesla (T). Clinical trials have shown that breast MRI at a higher field strength, 7 T, may be used to predict the response to chemotherapy in an earlier stage of treatment. This enables faster switching of treatment strategy if necessary and reduces overtreatment. Though these scans show promising results, they are currently not used in the clinic. The reason is that this relatively new way of imaging is sensitive to image errors that decrease the diagnostic value of the scans. Therefore, this thesis describes methods to correct these errors, specifically for dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) in the breast at 7 T. Radiologists use contrast uptake measured on DCE-MRI to determine the chance that a lesion is malignant. The contrast uptake measured with a DCE-MRI scan at 7 T is unreliable without correction. The correction method described in this thesis requires no additional scan time and minimizes the amount of noise in the corrected image. DWI scans recorded at 7 T can be prone to severe distortions. This thesis describes a method that allows correction of highly local distortions, which enables high-resolution DWI scans. After these correction steps, breast cancer patients can benefit optimally from the advantages that high field MRI has to offer.