SOURCE: FONAR Corporation

FONAR Corporation

August 24, 2010 07:30 ET

Radiologist Places Order for FONAR UPRIGHT Multi-Position MRI Instead of a 3 Tesla

MELVILLE, NY--(Marketwire - August 24, 2010) - FONAR Corporation (NASDAQ: FONR), the Inventor of MR Scanning™, announced the purchase of an UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI by a distinguished Board Certified radiologist in Florida. He is the owner operator of two multi-modality imaging centers equipped with MRIs.

"He was initially considering purchasing a 3 Tesla lie-down MRI," said Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., president and founder of FONAR Corporation, "but decided instead to buy the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI when he became aware of its many unique imaging capabilities."

As he explained, "many of the physicians who send patients to our multi-modality medical imaging practices are surgeons who perform spine surgery. It is a very important specialty in medical practice since the second most common reason today, after the common cold, for visiting a doctor's office is 'back pain.'

"Each year, 40 to 60 percent of American adults suffer from chronic back pain. More than one million spine surgery procedures are performed annually, with medical costs to treat back pain approaching $24 billion per year. (http://nyp.org/news/hospital/spine-fusion-surgery.html).

"As of 2007, approximately 9 million of the 27.5 million MRIs performed each year in the U.S. are of the spine.

"Accordingly," he said, "aware that the number one priority of all my referring spine surgeons is the best possible outcomes for their patients, I became convinced that the only technology capable of maximizing the surgical outcomes for my physician senders was to assure that they were able to see ALL of the pathology they had to address, not just part of it from a lie-down scanner in which the body weight has been removed."

"The spine is a difficult region of anatomy for the surgeon," he continued, "because as the principal weight-bearing structure of the body it shows its wear and tear degeneration early on. Consequently, degenerative changes of the spine are a normal concomitant of the aging process. This reality, however, from the surgeon's perspective, can be confounding. Does he, for example, surgically address the degenerative loss of disc height and neural foramina narrowing at L1/2, the 'spondy' at L2/3, or the disc herniation at L4/5? It is evident that if a vertebral segment not responsible for the patient's pain is subjected to surgery, the pain will not improve and there is even the risk that the patient's clinical condition and pain could be made worse by carrying out surgery on the wrong segment."

"Consequently," he stated, "the key to a good surgical outcome is the success with which the degenerative changes responsible for the patient's pain, are successfully separated from the degenerative changes that are not causing the patient's pain, so that only those segments responsible for the patient's pain are operated on."

"Of all the commercially available MRI scanners," he said, "the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ scanner is the only MRI that meets this need. What FONAR's UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ weight-bearing technology makes possible that no other scanner can accomplish is the ability for the radiologist to ask the patient to put himself in the position (standing, sitting, lateral bending, flexion, extension, rotation, etc.) that generates his pain, which no other scanner can do. A picture can then be taken with the patient in his actual pain generating position and then compared to a picture of the patient in an adjacent non-pain-generating position so that the correct pain generating anatomy can be unequivocally identified. This permits the surgeon to address only the anatomy segment generating the patient's pain, and enables him to avoid surgery on segments not involved in pain generation. The ultimate result is excellent outcomes for the surgeons and their patients.

"A recumbent non-weight-bearing single-position MRI simply cannot meet this need. We see it as a critical need, if we are going to be successful in improving surgical outcomes for our patients.

"Also important to our surgeons is their ability to see their surgical results post-operatively, which the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI can accomplish and the conventional MRI cannot. In the event of a less than optimal surgical outcome, or even an outcome that deteriorates over time, it is critical for the surgeon to be able to see post-operatively any hardware devices he may have implanted (e.g. artificial discs, pedicle screws, fusion rods, etc.) in order to address any surgical results that require further attention. Consequently, being able to clearly visualize installed implants in the post-operative spine is key for the surgeon to be able to address any further needs the patient might have.

"The FONAR scanner at 0.6 T meets this need of the surgeon since it is uniquely spared the magnetic susceptibility image artifacts that the 1.5 T and 3.0 T lie-down scanners generate. The implant artifacts obliterate the anatomy of the vertebral segments that are being imaged and make it impossible for the surgeon to discern the source of any persisting post-operative symptoms or pain that the patient might be experiencing."

He also expressed the need to be able to provide the unique imaging capabilities provided by the FONAR UPRIGHT® scanner to distinguish his radiology practice from competing radiology centers. "The FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI is the quintessence of the technology for breaking existing referral patterns. By offering the unique capabilities of the FONAR UPRIGHT® MRI," he stated, "and thereby distinguishing our radiology practice from competitors who market the same 'me-too' products, we would be bringing to our community a 'Center of Excellence' for imaging the spine. In so doing, we would be establishing for our community a COMPLETE radiology imaging service that could not be obtained elsewhere. Ultimately this would generate business for all of our imaging modalities. By offering a COMPLETE imaging service that includes all of FONAR's new UPRIGHT® imaging technologies that are not available anywhere in our community, we would achieve 'One Stop Shopping' for our patients to address all of their imaging needs."

"An example of one of the many unique imaging capabilities made possible by the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ fully weight-loaded imaging," he continued, "is the ability to image, without x-ray, the 400,000 scoliosis patients that must be imaged UPRIGHT® 2 to 3 times per year to monitor their scoliosis treatment. The elimination of x-ray avoids the 70% increased incidence of breast cancer reported by the National Cancer Institute to be the result of the standard annual x-ray examinations of these patients (National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov and M. Morin Doody et al. Spine, 8/15/2000, Vol. 25, #16).

"Another example is the ability to scan small children and infants seated on their mother's lap as they watch their favorite cartoon on the flat screen TV shipped with the system. This greatly reduces the number of children requiring anesthesia when MRI is needed and is a valuable feature of the FONAR UPRIGHT® that we will be bringing to our pediatric community.

"In addition, the ability to scan UPRIGHT® the large population of women suffering from the PFD (pelvic floor dysfunction) symptoms of cystitis, urinary incontinence and bowel dysfunction is another valuable benefit of the UPRIGHT® MRI. Because of the FONAR UPRIGHT® MRI, the cause of these dysfunctions can now be definitively shown on the MRI images and successfully treated surgically. These pelvic floor dysfunctions are the result of the cystic, vaginal, and rectal prolapses generated by the pelvic floor stresses of childbirth. They are readily visualized," he said, "by the FONAR UPRIGHT® MRI but are not readily diagnosed by the gynecologist employing the conventional lie-down pelvic examination."

"There are also now," he stated, "a large number of patients suffering the consequences of automobile whiplash injuries (Brain Injury, July 2010; 24[7-8]:988) and the 'fallen' cerebellar tonsil syndrome (Chiari or CTE; cerebellar tonsil ectopia) that results. The 'fallen' cerebellar tonsils require UPRIGHT® imaging to be seen and cannot satisfactorily be visualized by a conventional lie-down MRI. It is another unique need met by the FONAR UPRIGHT® MRI capability."

"In addition, there is now the power using FONAR's new cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) flow technology," he said, "to create cinés of cerebro-spinal fluid flow, and in particular, to be able to create cinés of this CSF flow in the upright position so that the adequacy of CSF flow into the upright brain can be quantified and visualized. Imaging patients in the upright position assures there are no dynamic impairments to this vital cerebro-spinal function and enables their correction if it exists. With the recent increased incidence of automobile whiplash injuries (C.S.B. Galasko et al., J. Musc-Skel. Pain 2000, Vol. 8, No. 1-2, p. 15) and the cerebellar tonsillar ectopias (CTE) that result, it is critical to identify this pathology as soon as it occurs so it can be addressed before more dire consequences occur."

"The 'Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)' is yet another symptom complex," he further stated, "that can benefit from FONAR's UPRIGHT® imaging technology. The 'TOS' patients can now be scanned upright in the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI and placed in the positions that compress the brachial plexus and subclavian artery so that the pathologic anatomy causing the compressions can be visualized and specifically addressed surgically when necessary.

"There is also now the newly recognized Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) that needs the benefits of UPRIGHT® imaging. PCS is a symptom complex in women where pelvic pain arises secondary to venous congestion and pelvic varicosities. Prolonged standing, in particular, gives rise to the pain and has to be diagnostically distinguished from other causes of pelvic pain such as fibrosis and endometriosis. Placing the patient upright in the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI can readily visualize the pain generating venous congestion and pelvic varicosities so that a definitive diagnosis can be achieved and treatment administered.

"Another valued application for the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI scanner is its potential for evaluating the 'runner's knee' syndrome, i.e. the Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS). In the light of the current day practice of daily running exercise to achieve aerobic fitness, accurate diagnosis of the fully weight-loaded 'runner's knee' in different degrees of flexion and extension, including single leg squats, is a growing need. The FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI makes possible the visualization of the cartilage contact surfaces of the knee, namely, the miniscal and articular cartilage surfaces that support the body's weight and enable smooth motion of this dynamic weight-supporting structure. This enables the risks from any long-bone malalignments or patella tracking dysfunctions that give rise to 'runner's knee' to be assessed and addressed before they result in a permanent debilitating osteoarthritis. University biomechanical specialists have recently been conducting research using the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI to explore and better define the 'runner's knee' condition and the 'patellar tracking' abnormalities that can aggravate it. The FONAR UPRIGHT® cinés of the fully weight-bearing knee make the multi-position dynamic visualization of 'runner's knee' and the diagnostic analysis of it a reality.

"Particularly valuable to me as a radiologist," he continued, "is FONAR's new Correlated Slice Profile (CSP) technology. It takes the FONAR Multi-Position™ MRI technology to a new level. With FONAR's Correlated Slice Profile (CSP) technology, each slice of a 15-slice multi-slice MRI scan of the spine appears on the radiologist's screen (or film) adjacent to the images of the other positions of the same slice. By re-centering the slices prior to the image acquisition of a new position, the slices of each position scan remain correlated despite any shifts of the body axis that result from changes in body position. The radiologist can then view each slice of the scan in all 3 of its weight-bearing positions, neutral sit, flexion and extension, alongside the same slice from the recumbent position. This enables the radiologist to easily track a given pathology (e.g. a disc herniation or spondylolisthesis) through all of its four positions so the surgeon can be advised of the full range the patient's spinal pathology (e.g. disc herniation, spondylolisthesis) traverses during the daily range of his/her body positions. By so doing, the surgeon sees the FULL EXTENT of the pathology he must address to get a good outcome.

"I agree with FONAR's German customer who just ordered their 4th FONAR UPRIGHT® MRI because of their business success with FONAR's new technology (Press Release, FONAR Corporation, August 3, 2010). We agree with them that FONAR's UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI is indeed setting a new MRI 'standard of care' for a wide range of medical applications."

For investor and other information visit: www.fonar.com.

UPRIGHT® and STAND-UP® are registered trademarks and The Inventor of MR Scanning™, Full Range of Motion™, pMRI™, Dynamic™, Multi-Position™, True Flow™, The Proof is in the Picture™, Spondylography™ Spondylometry™ and Upright Radiology™ are trademarks of FONAR Corporation.

This release may include forward-looking statements from the company that may or may not materialize. Additional information on factors that could potentially affect the company's financial results may be found in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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