Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a type of diagnostic scan that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce an image of the body, helping a doctor determine the specifics of an illness. A traditional, closed MRI machine passes magnets along the surface of a long, narrow tube which contains the patient, providing a complete image of the head and abdomen. Open MRI machines, in contrast, do not fully enclose the patient. Although open MRIs improve patient comfort in some instances, the closed MRI remains the industry standard.
Improved Image Quality
The purpose of an MRI is to provide the medical team with the sharpest, highest-resolution, and most accurate diagnostic image. MRIs are commonly prescribed to locate ailments such as small cracks in bone, joint damage, blood clots, aneurysms, spinal bulges, and cancers. In many of these cases, early detection is the best way to prevent serious, long-term damage—and more accurate diagnostic imaging is the best way to ensure early detection. Although an open MRI may initially seem more attractive, a closed MRI is more accurate.
In most situations, the closed MRI is the most suitable tool for performing an MRI scan. Because it provides a less accurate image, an open MRI should only be considered as an alternative to a closed MRI in specific circumstances. An MRI machine is a small, enclosed space, and some patients who are overweight may be unable to fit comfortably inside. In this case, an open MRI would be used. An MRI scan requires patients to sit still for several minutes, so patients who are severely claustrophobic and unable to take sedatives may be more suited to an open MRI. In all other cases, a closed MRI is a better choice.
If you have more questions about diagnostic imaging or orthopaedic procedures, contact the experts in your community. Suburban Orthopaedics in Bartlett, Illinois has been providing experienced orthopaedic care for over 20 years. To learn more, call our office at (888) 876-0117.