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MRI Systems & Side-Effects

David Stout dstout at mail.nuc.ucla.edu
Wed Jun 7 17:22:24 EST 1995

In article <3r2qn7$458 at ixnews5.ix.netcom.com>, cabal at ix.netcom.com
(Alexander Grijalva ) wrote:

> Does anyone know the difference between an open MRI system and closed
> MRI system? What are the plus and minuses to each?

There has been quite a demand for the open MRI here at UCLA. The
advantages are: electromagnet therefore no LHe, smaller, lower field
strength so you can do surgery in the room, easier coil placement due to
verticle (vs horizontal) magnetic field, and of course it's easier to get
in and out of. Disadvantages: lower field so it might be less sensitive to
certain measurements, field inhomogeneities and shimming are tricky. There
may well be other factors I have not mentioned. 

> Also, are there any side-effects attributed to MRI's? Especially in
> regards to the brain?

Heating can be a problem in extreme cases. There are regulatory guidelines
for power input into patients to reduce this problem. Some people have
trouble with the confined space (claustrophobia) in conventional MRI. This
is the safest known imaging system with the fewest side effects. 

David Stout

DENNIS:  Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

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