Open Skies MRI Benefits

  1. In order to get the best pictures with MRI it is very important to have the body part placed as close to the center of the machine as possible.  With a regular MRI machine this can be very difficult especially for parts located on the side of the body (shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, ankle).  With the open MRI machine the table can move sideways as well as in & out so every body part can be placed right in the center.  Pretend the red dot is a shoulder being scanned on an open MRI (image one) and a regular MRI (image two).

    Image One
    Image Two



  2. The coils or “cameras” that are used with the open MRI are different than the coils used with a regular MRI.  The coils used in open MRI surround the body part rather than rest against it.  The result is a higher quality picture because it includes the whole area rather than just the surface.  The blue shows the area being included in the picture.  The top picture is with an open MRI and the bottom picture is with a regular MRI.



  3. MRI is great for looking at soft tissues such as the muscles, ligaments, tendons, fat & organs in the body.  There are such things that can negatively affect the pictures called artifacts.  Most MRI artifacts increase as the magnetic field strength increases.  Because the open MRI has a slightly lower field strength than regular MRI machines, the artifacts do not contaminate the pictures as much.  Below is an example of a lower back MRI with metallic screws.  Notice in the top picture (open MRI) even the threads of the screw are visible and in the bottom picture the artifact is too dramatic to see this detail.

    Image One
    Image Two



  4. Studies have shown that open MRI is much preferred over closed bore MRI with the claustrophobic and bariatric (large) patient populations.  With open MRI, the patient is able to see out of the machine from all directions while the exam is taking place.




  5. In a regular MRI machine the patient must be laying on their back for most, if not all exams.  In the open MRI, the patient can be placed in nearly any position possible in order to make them more comfortable.  Also sometimes the body part must be placed in a specific position in order to show the problem.   This can be difficult in a regular MRI machine because of the small space.  This example is of a shoulder in the A.B.E.R. position in the open MRI machine.

    Image One
    Image Two