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Magnetic Resonance and Ultrasound Imaging, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Bildgivande kärnspinnresonans och ultraljud

This syllabus is valid: 2016-08-22 and until further notice

Course code: 5RA007

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Advanced level

Main Field of Study and progress level: Physics: second cycle, in-depth level of the course can not be classified

Grading scale: 5 Pass with distinction, 4 Pass with merit, 3 Pass, VG Pass with distinction, G Pass , U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Physics

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2017-11-16


The course starts with nuclear magnetic resonance physics, including how to manipulate and detect signal from the nuclear spins and how that can be utilized to create an imaging system – magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  After that we continue by studying the technical aspects of an MRI scanner and its main components such as the main magnet, the gradients and the RF-system. Deviations from the ideal functionality of the scanner components and consequences of these are studied to give an understanding of common artifacts and to give tools to reduce these. The course also include image reconstruction and how the design of pulse sequences affect the image contrast. The most important types of MRI sequences such as gradient echo and spin echo are studied in detail, while more specialized sequences such as those used for diffusion weighted imaging, spectroscopy and flow measurements are treated more superficially. Techniques used for speeding up MRI are also studied. 
An introduction to ultrasound imaging is included in the course. Here we study ultrasound physics and how the imaging system is constructed. Generation of ultrasound, pulse-echo methods and Doppler techniques are also included. 

The course includes two parts:
1. Theory, 6 hp
2. Laboration, 1.5 hp

Expected learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
In detail explain the physics on which MRI is based.
In detail describe the key components of an MRI scanner, their function, limitations and impact on image quality.
In detail explain the structure of MR raw data and how images are created from these data.
Describe different types of MRI sequences, how they are designed, their application areas, strengths and weaknesses, as well as importance for image contrast and signal-to-noise ratio.
Know the most common artifacts and underlying causes of these.
Know different techniques to speed up MR imaging, the principles for these, and critically examine the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies.
Explain the physics underlying ultrasound imaging and how it is used to create images.
Know the most common artifacts in ultrasound diagnostics, their underlying causes and how they can be minimized 
Skills and abilities
Independently use the Bloch equations to quantitatively describe how spin magnetization behaves in an MRI scanner.
Identify and reduce artifacts.
Independently calculate how a MRI sequence should be designed for a desired contrast, resolution, image size and signal-to-noise ratio.
Show basic skills to use a clinical MRI scanner.

Judgement and approach
Assess and evaluate risks with MRI.
Evaluate the appropriate MR sequence selection based on requirements on for instance contrast.
Make relevant assessments in the choice of ultrasound probes and settings for a specified penetration depth, resolution and contrast.

Required Knowledge

University: At least 90 ECTS credits including the course Quantum Physics 4.5 ECTS, or corresponding. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/5. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The teaching is conducted in the form of lectures and demonstrations, as well as supervised seminars and laboratory exercises. Participation in laboratory exercises is mandatory.

Examination modes

Part 1: Theoretical part 6 credits
The part is examined with written exam. The grade is  assessed with Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Credit (4) or Pass with Distinction (5).

Part 2: Laboration 1,5 credits.
The part is examined with written laboratory report. The grade is assessed with Fail (U) or Pass (G).

On the course as a whole the potential grades are Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with merit (4) or Pass with distinction (5). The grade is based on the grade received on part 1 and will not be given until all obligatory modules have been approved. 

Students who received a passing grade on an examination may not retake the examination.

Students who do not pass the regular examination renewed examination in accordance with the Umeå University Regulations for tests and examinations at the undergraduate and graduate level (FS 1.1.2-553-14) could be arranged. The first re-test is offered not later than two months after the first examination. When the ordinary examination takes place in May or June, d a first retesting opportunity is given within three months after the first examination. In addition, at least another re-test within one year of regular examination is offered.

In cases where the exam can not be repeated under the current rules for retesting the exam should instead be replaced with another task. The scope and content of such task should not be disproportionate to the missed exam.

A student who has taken two examinations in a course or part of a course without passing, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless there are specific reasons against it (6 ch. 22, § HF). Requests for new examiners should be addressed to the head of the Department of Radiation Sciences.

Other regulations

In the event that the course expires or major changes are introduced, the students are assured at least three occasions of examination (including regular examination) as prescribed in the syllabus to the course that the student originally registered in over a period of a maximum of two years from the previous syllabus expired.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.