Combination of three new, high-powered MRI systems at PENN is a first in the US

(Philadelphia, PA) - The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is now home to three brand new, state-of-the-art, high powered MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) systems. The combination of the three units is a "Radiology First" for any hospital in the United States, which is especially fitting since HUP was the first hospital to get and use an MRI back in 1984.

Now standing side-by-side on the ground floor of HUP in the newly renovated MR Suite in the Devon Imaging Center, each scanner offers unique capabilities:

-World's first open-bore 1.5 Tesla, high-field magnet - It is the only one of its kind currently available. It is designed with a larger diameter opening and a shorter tunnel, making it ideal to use with claustrophobic patients or larger patients (it can scan someone weighing up to 550 pounds). At 125 cm (approximately four feet), it allows for more than 60% of exams to be completed with the patient's head outside of the bore, easing issues of claustrophobia. Plus, with a bore opening of 70 cm (nearly 2.3 feet) in diameter and the average distance between a patient's head and the MRI magnet at almost one foot, the Espree provides enough room for larger patients.

"The open configuration will also allow us to reach the patient while still in the scanner, in order to perform breast biopsies and certain interventional procedures like needle ablation," said Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, Associate Chair of Research in Radiology at Penn.

-A 1.5 Tesla - It has special hardware and software to be able to capture a faster beating heart. This MRI receives 32 signals at once versus 4 or 8 for the older ones. The more signals it receives - and reads -- the faster it can image. So, instead of just seeing one slice of a beating heart in a breath-hold signal, we'll be able to see the entire beating heart. This is es

Contact: Susanne Hartman
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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