To achieve optimal contrast when imaging bone metastases, the patient would have to imaged multiple times at various contrast settings. This is not possible in practice, resulting in the use of standard contrasts that are often sub-optimal due to patient-specific variations in both healthy and metastatic tissue.
Using synthetic MRI, it is possible to synthesize a multitude of contrasts from a single scan. This makes it possible to determine optimal contrast weighing post-scan. Studying bone metastases, synthetic images where used to develop a mathematical model of perceived contrast, taking both tissue properties and the human visual system into account.