Wide-open MRI
Advances in the field strength of open-bore MRI systems are also opening new doors for imaging providers. Systems with a field strength of 1.2T (and hence the ability to produce clearer images than their counterparts with lower field strengths) allow MRI studies to be performed in populations of patients who are not candidates for traditional closed-bore procedures. These include bariatric and claustrophobic patients, according to Daniel Chernoff, MD, PhD, director of radiology services, Adirondack Imaging, Glens Falls, New York. Open MRI of Glens Falls, one of Adirondack Imaging’s three imaging centers, has also begun leveraging higher-caliber open-MRI equipment to perform image-guided needle biopsies. “With open-bore MRI, we can leave the patient in position and reach in from the appropriate side with the needle, rather than sliding the patient in and out,” Chernoff explains. In addition, Chernoff sees the potential of using open-bore MRI to study the extremities. “We always want images to be dead center, which is easier to achieve in an open-MRI mode because the extremity can be easily repositioned,” he says. “Although the field strength is slightly lower than with closed 1.5T systems, one still gets a better image with a centered extremity.”