Most books about magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are intended either to help the technical specialist understand the detailed physics of the MR process (and are relatively incomprehensible), or to assist the clinician in the interpretation of disease using MR images (and are unconcerned with how the equipment works).
MRI: From Picture to Proton is different. It is intended primarily for those people running and using MR systems and is essentially a very practical guide to obtaining better images. The authors are practical MRI workers involved in running clinical MRI systems. The book is clear, easy to read, with excellent diagrams and illustrations. In particular, it has an excellent layout that facilitates browsing. There are lots of highlighted boxes for points of special interest or for technical or mathematical detail. In addition, it is pretty much up to date and contains a lot of detailed information with both technical and physical detail.
There are two sections, "The Basic Stuff" and "The Specialist Stuff", together with a very short mathematics revision appendix. There is a short chapter on magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Details about the echo planar imaging (EPI) acquisition technique are brief and included in the chapter about functional MRI. Sir Peter Mansfield, who developed EPI is, however, not mentioned in the text. A curiosity is that the second figure in the book is from Raymond Damadian's original patent, as was cited by him as evidence that he should have shared in Sir Peter's 2003 Nobel prize.
The most interesting sections are those about system optimisation and the excellent chapter on cardiac imaging. Overall the book is close to being comprehensive and does, for example, include a section on the creation and choice of the large number of different and specialised imaging sequences with their variety of curious acronyms.
This is an excellent and practical book. I thoroughly recommend it.
Andrew Todd-Pokropek is professor of medical physics, University College London.
MRI: From Picture to Proton. First edition
Author - Donald W. McRobbie, Elizabeth A. Moore, Martin J. Graves and Martin R. Prince
Publisher - Cambridge University Press
Pages - 359
Price - £100.00 and £35.00
ISBN - 0 521 81859 1 and 52319 2