this is an impressive textbook/tutorial that will be useful for most
radiology residents and MR technologists preparing for their board examinations.
This reviewer, who also has spent a considerable amount of time teaching
these two audiences and preparing lecture material, clearly appreciates
the significant effort, time, and enthusiasm that Dr. NessAiver put
toward this work. The quality of the book directly demonstrates his
commitment to teaching the fundamental concepts of MR through a well
written, concise, and consistently detailed textbook. I remain enthusiastic
about the book and now agree with the E-mail that I received from Dr.
NessAiver several months ago that this book is excellent, useful, and
probably one of the best values that residents or technologists will
encounter in their introductory pursuit of an understanding of MR physics."
-Journal of Magnetic Resonance
Imaging, May/June 1997 , Jeffrey Duerk, Ph.D.
AJR : Goofy title.
Quirky look - on the outside, the tome looks like one of those ad-hoc
reports one receives when attending a marketing seminar (plastic spine
and punch-hole binding, soft cover decorated using some do-it-yourself
graphics, blank colored sheet inserts as chapter separators). On the
inside, it looks like a classic handout — one finds there copies
of transparencies (two per page) accompanied by some telegraphically
sparse text and ruled space for students notes. The page
layout follows the four-up look and feel, usually reserved for economy-printing
of long documents using a laser printer. Is this a book? Not in the
traditional sense of the word. The author seems to understand it, as
every chapter follows its own page numbering scheme (in the form —
n-mm, where n is the chapters number, and mm is the page number
within the chapter). Each page bears a copy-right notice — the
author is obviously trying to discourage people from copying this material.
Each of the 11 chapters has
10-15 pages, which translates into 20-30 transparencies per chapter.
Using a rule-of-thumb value of 2 min of estimated oral presentation
time needed per transparency, each chapter plainly corresponds to a
single, 1-hr lecture. At first, I was ambivalent about reviewing this
piece — it looked suspiciously like an attempt to sell to the
public-at-large handouts for a limited-attendance course. Because not
a lot of effort was spent at expanding the handouts into a full-fledged
book format and the public did not have the opportunity to participate
in the lectures themselves, this seemed a bit like an incomplete deal.
This feeling was further strengthened by the authors aggressive
marketing efforts, both at the beginning (in the "How to Use This
Book" section) and at the end (in Appendix C).
Once I overcame my initial
misgivings and actually started working with the text (reading is not
exactly a right word to use here), I changed my mind. The author knows
what he is talking about and it shows. This is the first book on MR
imaging physics I have seen that is free from annoying oversimplifications,
slipups, and plain mistakes. This book handles several difficult issues
with aplomb and in sight that provide a welcome distraction from the
standard, orthodox views so prevalent in other books on the subject.
All too often, the first attempt to explain a difficult issue in print
becomes a mantra for later followers. All too often, one could pick
up any book on MR imaging physics and read virtually identical descriptions
of the same phenomenon. This text offers descriptions that are not only
logical, easy to follow, graphically appealing, and correct but also
quite often refreshingly different from standard approaches.
To my delight, I have found
several nuggets of helpful information such as the description of MR
echoes in chapter 7, the discussion of the Fourier transform in chapter
6 and the presentation of MR artifacts in chapter 11. This is the first
text I have seen that not only tells the reader that gadolinium-based
MR contrast agents predominately affect T1 contrast but also explains
why (chapter 5).
As the author explains in
the preface, this text grew out of a 12-hr MR course in physics for
technologists studying for their registry examinations. If his students
were able to absorb all of the material included in this handout in
just 12 1-hr lectures, they must have passed their registry with flying
colors! My own 10-year experience in teaching MR imaging physics to
nonphysicists tells me that this goal is probably too ambitious. To
achieve any significant retention of the MR concepts in the minds of
an audience not accustomed to the ruthless logic of hard science courses
requires a significant amount of time to be spent on discussion. A lot
of time is needed to present and discuss a variety of examples to illustrate
the interrelationships among different concepts. I dont think
12 hrs is enough to do it right.
Anybody teaching MR imaging
physics should get this book-o-handout — not for its appearance,
which is iffy, but for its content, which is great. I will stop short
of recommending the transparencies themselves, unless one is just putting
the course together and wants to save time. I find incorporating someone
elses teaching materials into my own presentation does not usually
work well — the design differences tend to create visual clashes
that distract the audience. Here is hope that the sales of this quirky
bookish handout will generate enough cash flow to convince the author
to work with this material and publish a full-fledged book. It would
be a pleasure to have one.
-American Journal or Roentgenology , April '98, Wlad T. Sobol Ph.D.,
University of Alabama Hospitals and Clinics, Birmingham, AL 35233
(This review was presented here with the permision of the American Roentgen
Ray Society www.arrs.org)
"Your book is a gas,
It doesn't lack class.
The MOTSA bit's cool, A real useful tool.
K-space is a breeze. Hahn Echo's a wheeze.
This Moriel Guy, Sure knows MRI.
-Unsolicited poem from
satisfied customer, Andrew Mason, M.D., University of British Columbia,
St. Paul's radiology