New Scanner: MR device to make it easier for patients

Gavin Maliska, Managing Editor, Greenwood Commonwealth

Bigger and better is the idea behind the new magnetic resonance (MR) technology acquired by Greenwood Leflore Hospital, a machine that pro­vides improved images for physicians and a more comfortable, relaxed expe­rience for patients.

Purchased by the hospital for $1.26 million from Canon Medical Sys­tems, the new Vantage Titan MR was designed to improve performance and create a better experience for patients who can feel anxious and claustropho­bic while lying inside the “bore” of the machine, according to Claire Smith, MR safety officer and supervi­sor.

A bigger bore allows more air and space in front of the patient, and a shorter bore means less of a patient’s body is inside the machine at any one time. Improvement in audio lessens the sound of the machine for most procedures, she said.

The larger space also allows for larger people to undergo MR scans, increasing the maximum capacity of the machine to people weighing 550 pounds, Smith said.

“The Canon Medical Sys­tems Vantage Titan is a dra­matic improvement over traditional open-bore 1.5T MR systems, as it offers the largest and widest bore available with a significant reduction in noise,” Smith said.

“Patients are more at ease without having to use seda­tion”, said Lynn Bryant, hospi­tal radiology director.

The scanner was installed in December 2018, and the hospital sent Smith to Irvine, California, twice for training at Canon’s Institute of Advanced Imaging. A Canon technician spent weeks on site training hospital staff on the machine, Smith said.

The hospital averages around 300 patients each month receiving MR imaging, and it can be for anything, “head-to-toe”, Smith said. The average scan takes about 15 minutes.

The new scanner’s technology also allows for reduced use of the injection of contrasting dyes when an MR scanner is used to track blood flow.

“With this new scanner, we don’t have to use it as much”, Smith said. “It has new tech­nology that we can see blood flow without using it.”

A news release from the hospital said reduced use of contrasting agents is impor­tant, because gadolinium, the most common contrast agent used for magnet resonance imaging and magnetic reso­nance angiography (MRA) exams, has been directly linked to a sometimes fatal disease that occurs in patients with renal insufficiency, called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis or dermopathy.