Monday, April 18, 2011

Open MRI Vs Close MRI

Open MRI
Closed MRI
Unlike its conventional counterparts, Open MRI's have no narrow tunnels to travel through and no loud noises associated with image generation. The open MRI decreases anxiety and discomfort substantially.
The Hitachi Open MRI offers additional comfort, as the patient is able to move around, and there are no claustrophobic feelings. The fact that it is open on all four sides permits slight movements, therefore allowing for ease of siting.
For our most delicate patients, such as children and those who require additional assistance and encouragement, our open MRI allows for friends or relatives to be close by and hold their hand, instead of just in sight.
The Hitachi Elite does not discriminate against those who cannot currently receive imaging. For instance, large patients and huge athletes, cannot fit in the tunnel, as well, handicapped persons and claustrophobics experience great distress in the tunnel. The innovative Hitachi Elite, found at Open MRI of Canada, alleviates this problem by increasing the weight limit, and accommodating all sizes of patients by the open gantry style.
In the donut style MRI, patients will experience high discomfort due to the feeling of being enclosed. As well, the machine is extremely noisy to the point where earplugs are offered to patients. In addition, if an individual experiences high anxiety or feelings of claustrophobia, sedatives may be required, and chance of nausea will increase, as well costs.
Since patients are not permitted to move, any slight movements will prolong scanning times, reduce image quality, and patient throughput will be slow resulting in patient reports being delayed.
For pediatric patients sedatives must be given because movement is not allowed, as well, anxiety for the child will be high when parents or guardians are only within sight, not in reach.
Because the tunnel is an enclosed space, large patients are unable to receive an MRI and are not awarded the same health care; therefore the Open MRI offers an alternative for such patients who require imaging.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Future Of MRI

The future of MRI seems limited only by our imagination. This technology is still in its infancy, comparatively speaking. It has been in widespread use for less than 20 years (compared with over 100 years for X-rays). 

Very small scanners for imaging specific body parts are being developed. For instance, a scanner that you simply place your arm, knee or foot in are currently in use in some areas. Our ability to visualize the arterial and venous system is improving all the time. Functional brain mapping (scanning a person's brain while he or she is performing a certain physical task such as squeezing a ball, or looking at a particular type of picture) is helping researchers better understand how the brain works. Research is under way in a few institutions to image the ventilation dynamics of the lungs through the use of hyperpolarized helium-3 gas. The development of new, improved ways to image strokes in their earliest stages is ongoing. 

Predicting the future of MRI is speculative at best, but I have no doubt it will be exciting for those of us in the field, and very beneficial to the patients we care for. MRI is a field with a virtually limitless future, and I hope this article has helped you better understand the basics of how it all works!