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Issues Emerg Health Technol. 2006 Nov;(92):1-4.

Open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners.

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Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Ottawa, Canada.


(1) In most MRI scanners, the patient examination table fits inside a long cylindrical tube. Large patients cannot be accommodated, and some persons experience claustrophobic reactions. Open MRI systems, in which the patient is placed between two plates, overcome these disadvantages. (2) Open MRI scanners are widely used in health care. High-field closed MRI systems are preferred for many examinations. (3) Early versions of open MRI scanners had low magnetic field strength, gave poorer image quality than most closed systems, and required longer examination times. Newer open scanners include machines with higher magnetic field strengths and improved image quality. (4) Closed high magnetic field scanners with short magnets and wide bore tubes offer improved comfort to patients, and may be an alternative to open scanners. (5) There is interest in using open systems for intra-operative and image-guided interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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