Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology (Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology)

 As a leading department in the oral and maxillofacial radiology, we research the better image diagnosis and radiotherapy in the head and neck region with using up-to-date machines.

ProfessorShumei MURAKAMI
Invited Professor           Toshiharu NAKAI
Assistant ProfessorTadashi SASAI
Assistant ProfessorYuka UCHIYAMA
Assistant ProfessorHiroaki SHIMAMOTO
Assistant ProfessorTomomi TSUJIMOTO
Assistant ProfessorYuichi AKINO

■ Research Activities

1)Brain mapping on oral functions with fMRI

 Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a type of specialized MRI scan. It measures the hemodynamic response (change in blood flow) related to neural activity in the brain of humans. It is one of the most recently developed forms of neuroimaging. Since the early 1990s, fMRI has come to dominate the brain mapping field due to its relatively low invasiveness, absence of radiation exposure, and relatively wide availability.

 In our department an activated brain area on the tasting, mandibular movement, tooth perception is studied.

 In the right figure the activated brain area on teeth tapping is highlighted in red.

2)Metallic artifacts on MR image

 MRI is one of tomography and it needs not ionizing irradiation. MRI can produce any optional tomographic planes and has the greater contrast between soft tissues.
So, MRI has been used also in the dental filed. However, one drawback of MRI is the appearance of huge artifact by some metals. In our dental field many kinds of metals are used and set in the mouth, so the image diagnosis cannot be done.
In our department a method and device of a reduction of the artifact is studied.

In the left figure MR image is distorted by a dental metal.

3)Reduction of side effect of radiation therapy for oral cancer

 We have just started the radiation therapy (RT) for the oral cancer by the intensity modulated RT (IMRT) machine and image-guided RT (IGRT) machine. Using the IMRT and IGRT the side effect of the radiation therapy will be reduced. But in the oral and maxillofacial region some radiosensitive organs such as the bone marrow and salivary gland are included. So we are seeking good methods and devices for a reduction of the side effect of the radiation therapy for the oral cancer.