Published on the Sept. 12, 2011, DiagnosticImaging.com website
By Whitney L.J. Howell
Imagine telling your patients you can conduct their MRI in a tranquil meadow, under the ocean, or any location they find relaxing. What do you think they’d say about reading their favorite book during the scan? There’s a chance they’d be much happier about being subjected to the scan.
Patient-friendly MRIs aren’t new, but they’ve generally given you poor-quality images. There’s a new generation of machines on the market now, and they offer more room and high-resolution scans.
“New scanners offer huge benefits in both comfort and quality,” said William Morrison, MD, associate radiology professor at Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Medical College. “Some machines allow us to only focus on extremities, and others are helpful for people who suffer with claustrophobia. Newer scanners also enable us to scan larger patients.”
Arms, Legs, Wrists, and Ankles
There are times, especially if you have athletic patients, when you only need to scan a small body area, such as an ankle or wrist. In those situations, sliding a patient into a traditional MRI machine isn’t your best option, Morrison said, because image quality is poor in those areas.
Instead, extremity scanners target particular spots and produce high-quality scans.
“Patients appreciate these scanners because they aren’t stuck inside a tight-fitting tube,” he said, referring to the GE Optima MR430 scanner GE-produced extremity scanner used at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “It’s fantastic for people with claustrophobia, and it’s good for kids because they get to have their parent right there beside them.”
As an added benefit, it’s cheaper to run extremity scanners than traditional MRI machines, he said.
To read the remainder of the story: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/mri/content/article/113619/1947286?CID=rss&cid=dlvr.it