BCH Installs the Latest in MRI Technology
A new MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) system was delivered to the Radiology Department at Boone County Hospital in June. Because the machine weighs well over 12,000 pounds, it takes large equipment and lots of man power to unload and place a piece of equipment that size in the hospital. The new state-of-the-art MRI will be functional by mid-July. In the interim, a trailer is being housed on the northeast side of the hospital with a mobile MRI.
It has been 13 years since the MRI was replaced. The new scanners have surpassed the older ones in several areas. The opening (bore) is 16 cm wider at 71 cm than the previous scanner of 55 cm. It can image larger patients with the larger bore diameter and can reduce the possibility of the patient quitting the exam due to claustrophobia. The new MRI can handle patients that are 450 pounds; the older scanner was limited to 350 pounds.
The new scanner is the quietest on the market. New technology reduces acoustic noise by up to 90 percent creating the quietest scanning environment available. With a spacious, lighted gantry and the industry’s quietest MRI patients are relaxed and ready for their exam. The soft lighting creates a calming atmosphere to help relieve patient anxiety.
Technologists now have the ability to obtain images without intravenous contrast (the previous scanner required a contrast injection for imaging vessels), which allows a patient with compromised kidney function to be diagnosed without further harm to their kidneys by the use of the contrast material.
The MRI unit also offers faster imaging with better quality images, which results in shorter exams for the patient.
Boone County Hospital performs approximately 750 exams each year. Some of the patients that may require an MRI are those who have had a stroke, cancer, visual disturbances, extremity pain, bone injuries, joint injuries, osteomellitus, carotid stenosis, cerebral vascular issues and gall bladder pain.