Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-08-09 Origin: Site
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most important medical imaging techniques today. It utilizes strong magnetic fields and radiofrequency pulses to non-invasively acquire high-resolution cross-sectional images of human tissues, playing a crucial role in diagnosing many diseases. However, traditional MRI scanners have an enclosed tubular structure, forcing patients to lie still in a narrow tunnel during scans. This creates tremendous mental stress, especially for children, elders, and patients with claustrophobia, as lying inside an enclosed tunnel can be extremely uncomfortable. Moreover, loud noise is generated continuously during MRI scans, further adding to patient discomfort. Open MRI scanners were thus developed to significantly improve patient experience.
The biggest feature of open MRI is its C-shaped or O-shaped magnet that creates an open access on both sides of the bore. Patients are positioned in the opening so that they can see the outside environment instead of being enclosed in a narrow space. This greatly alleviates patient anxiety and feelings of confinement. In addition, open access MRI generates only around 70 decibels of noise, a 40% reduction from the 110 decibels of traditional enclosed MRI scanners, allowing for a more comfortable scanning process.
In terms of system components, open MRI retains the core parts of a standard MRI scanner, including the main magnet that produces a strong static magnetic field, gradient coils that generate gradient fields, and RF coils for excitation and signal detection. The field strength of the main magnet in open MRI can still reach 0.2 to 3 Tesla, on par with conventional MRI. Open MRI also incorporates additional patient support structures and docking mechanisms to accommodate the open configuration and patient positioning requirements. Overall, while improving patient experience, open MRI retains the fundamental principles of magnetic resonance imaging and can still provide high quality images of human tissues.
In summary, open architecture MRI scanners overcome the weaknesses of traditional enclosed MR systems and significantly enhance patient comfort and acceptance. They provide a friendly scanning environment benefiting more patients. With continued advances, open MRI will find wider clinical utilization, especially for anxious, pediatric, elderly, and immobilized patients.