Pillai JJ, guest ed. Mukherji SK, consulting ed. Clinical Applications of Functional MRI. Elsevier, November 2014. Neuroimaging Clinics of North America; vol. 24, no. 4; pgs. 557–728, $99
Clinical Applications of Functional MRI is the November 2014 publication of the Neuroimaging Clinics of North America. This is a collection of review articles dealing with various aspects of current clinical state of the art fMRI topics. A total of 11 articles are authored and co-authored by specialists in the field and are edited by Dr. Jay Pillai.
The articles cover a variety of topics, starting with the physics/principals behind fMRI, moving on to the various clinical applications, and finally, addressing the economics of fMRI with a beautifully written article by Dr. David Yousem.
As expected, the articles vary in style, format and level of difficulty. However, all articles start with the basics, are coherent and well written, and provide reliable and up-to-date information. There is a genuine effort by all authors to emphasize the clinical applications of fMRI and the clinical/prognostic value of fMRI findings. The images are clear, well annotated, and of high quality.
One thing that most, if not all, the articles fail to address is the art of interpreting fMRI; I guess this is intentional, as the art of interpreting fMRI requires dedicated hands-on training. One article deals with “special considerations/technical limitations of fMRI”. In my opinion, however, it would have been really helpful to have another dedicated article (perhaps called imaging pitfalls in fMRI) that presents several real cases/pitfalls and explains how these should be interpreted and why.
In summary, this issue by the Neuroimaging Clinics of North America provides an excellent review of the clinical applications of fMRI, with emphasis on the prognostic value of imaging findings. This collection of review articles is written for the radiologist, physicist, and clinician/surgeon who has special interest/training in the field, and is not intended for the junior radiology residents, who may find the information too subspecialized.