Types of MRI Designs

There is a lot of confusion about the different types of MRI in use today. What does the term “open” really mean when it comes to MRI? What does “stand up” mean? Today, we are going to look at three main MRI designs–Wide Bore MRI, Open MRI, and Stand Up MRI, and we will try to clear up any confusion about what you can expect if you are undergoing a procedure with one of these MRI types.

Wide Bore MRI

“Wide Bore” or “Open Bore” MRI is the primary type of MRI in use throughout ZP offices. The term “bore” refers to the doughnut-shaped opening that the patient moves into while lying on the table. The extra wide opening on these machines is 70 cm across, which provides a less claustrophobic experiences with more space in all directions. These units are also considered to have a “short bore” design, which is more like going into a doughnut rather than a tunnel, like in older MRI units.

ZP has the most experience in the country with MRI, utilizing the latest in 3 Tesla and 1.5 Tesla MRI technology. Our 3T MRI technology provides physicians with unprecedented detail, especially in neurological, musculoskeletal and soft tissue imaging.

(In technical terms, this type of MRI is considered a “closed” unit, because the patient is surrounded all around, even though there is a lot more space than in older, outdated units.)

Open Sided MRI

For an “Open Sided” type of design, imagine an MRI sandwich. The MRI is like the bread, and you are the main part of the sandwich that moves in between the bread. Although there is more open space on both sides of the patient, this can create a claustrophobic experience because there is very little room above the patient. Also, most open sided MRI units have weaker magnets, which leads to less detail in the images produced.

Stand Up MRI

Another type of MRI design is called “Stand Up MRI.” These units allow patients to be scanned in any position, including standing, sitting, bending or lying down.

Stand Up MRI exams are typically longer (45 minutes to an hour) and patients must hold a position without moving for a long period of time, which can be very difficult. Also, these units usually utilize weaker magnets, which produces images with less resolution that high-field magnets.

Read more about MRI at ZP.

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