Enhanced MRI Provides Exceptional Images, Increased Comfort

posted on Friday, July 31, 2020 in General

Faster, more comfortable and exceptional images – those are three primary features of the Spencer Hospital’s new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging technology) installed in early July.

The radiologists of Midwest Radiology & Imaging – Dr. Charles Crouch, Dr. Nate Rohling and Dr. John Jackson - agree the most significant difference the new MRI technology offers is higher resolution images in less time.

“The image resolution with the new unit is outstanding.” shared Dr. Crouch.  “The time to complete a study has also been reduced significantly, which improves the patient experience.”

Dr. Rohling agreed: “The new MRI also provides the ability to do more specialized exams. Other advantages are that some vascular imaging can be done without the use of contrast, and the faster scan times are more comfortable for patients.”

In addition to shorter scan times, patients will also appreciate the new MRI’s larger and shorter bore, which provides a greater feeling of openness, noise reduction features of the machine, and a memory-foam surface, providing enhanced comfort.

“The new MRI offers a wider bore (opening) which helps accommodate larger patients and smaller patients will have noticeably more room,” explained Dr. Jackson. Also, some MRI studies can be done “feet first” which eliminates the need for a patient’s head and shoulders to enter the MRI bore, providing greater comfort for patients who are claustrophobic.

Dr. Crouch added: “Physics limit the openness of any MRI magnet. The higher strength MRI units have a round opening and each magnet we’ve had at Spencer Hospital has been progressively larger than the previous. The image resolution of this MRI is excellent, which greatly aids in diagnostic capabilities.”

The new MRI replaces a scanner, which was installed in 2007. The hospital performs approximately 1,200 MRI scans annually and anticipates volume will grow due to the added studies, which can be performed using the latest technology.

“MRI technology is used to scan soft tissue to aid with diagnosis of numerous health concerns, ranging from stroke to joint pathology to tumors and cardiac or abdominal issues,” explained Mary Brosnahan, Diagnostic Imaging director.

She added that the MRI includes lightweight accessory coils, which can be contoured around a body shape – such as a shoulder or knee – or draped across a patient’s abdomen, to help enhance the image obtained through the MRI study.

Spencer Hospital president Bill Bumgarner commented: “The capabilities of the new MRI reflect Spencer Hospital’s commitment to enhancing the patient experience while at the same time, securing technology that leads to enhanced diagnostics and care. It’s satisfying when upgrades in technology address both patient comfort and quality outcomes.”