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To Your Health: Open MRI provides improved functionality

Julie Jabaay

Julie Jabaay

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Updated: May 11, 2013 6:08AM



Magnetic resonance imaging scanners are powerful diagnostic tools.

In most MRI scanners, the patient examination table fits inside a long cylindrical tube. In these scanners many larger patients cannot be accommodated, and others experience claustrophobic reactions.

Open MRI systems overcome these disadvantages. Until now, many physicians continued to refer patients to closed MRI facilities because early versions of open MRI scanners had low magnetic field strength, poorer image quality than most closed systems and required longer examination times.

Now, open MRI technologies have the higher magnetic field strengths and image quality previously available only from a closed MRI.

MRI is a method used by physicians to look inside the human body and obtain anatomical and functional diagnostic information. Images typically contain greater information about the body’s soft tissue than other procedures.

MRI offers the best of all imaging modalities because of its superior contrast differentiation between muscle, fat, vessels, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, cortical bone and marrow bone space.

This means that MRIs can provide highly detailed anatomical images of the body.

Additionally, the trained medical professionals responsible for acquiring MRI can produce images with varying contrast, showing many different planes of the body with functional information, such as blood flow.

In contrast to X-ray, CT scanning and nuclear medicine, MRI provides diagnostic information without the use of radiation or radioactive substances. MRI is a non-invasive procedure and there are no known side or after effects.

MRI is used for all parts of the body and is effective in the clinical evaluation of brain disorders, traumatic injuries, eye abnormalities, spine diseases, tumor detection, liver and other abdominal diseases, knee and shoulder injuries, musculoskeletal disorders, facial and neck abnormalities, infections, blood flow and vessel disorders.

Residents have access to the most advanced high-field open MRI imaging system as Franciscan St. James Health has added Hitachi’s Oasis TM High-Field Open MRI system to its list of diagnostic offerings.

This new technology has put a great deal of emphasis on making patients comfortable.

During their exams, patients have a 270-degree view, which minimizes anxiety and claustrophobia and maximizes a more pleasant environment. This also allows the patient to have a loved one or friend nearby during the exam for further reassurance.

It combines comfort with powerful technology and a fast workstation to make patient exams as quick and smooth as possible.

Its imaging power is further boosted by an array of anatomically specific, optimized receiver coils that allow advanced imaging applications ranging from vascular to orthopedic to women’s health.

Franciscan St. James acquired the Oasis MR system to offer the most advanced diagnostic imaging techniques currently available in the health care industry.

Julie Jabaay is the Franciscan St. James Health MRI department supervisor.

Franciscan St. James is a member of the Southland Health Alliance.



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