Patients at Emory University Hospital have access to the strongest MRI available in Georgia, which means doctors have a clearer image for increased diagnostic accuracy.
Emory University Hospital's three-tesla (3T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging unit is the first-of-its kind for a Georgia hospital. The more than $2 million 3T is double the field strength of most MRIs used in hospitals, meaning increased spatial resolution and/or shorter scan times for patients. A tesla is a unit of measure for magnetic strength.
"This new technology is important for our patients and for our physicians," notes Chad Holder, MD, medical director of neurological MRI at Emory University Hospital. "With the increased spatial resolution provided by the 3T, physicians can now identify some abnormalities that can't be detected by the traditional 1.5T magnets."
The 3T is primarily used for neurological imaging, but can be used for scanning other areas of the body. "For many clinical applications, the 1.5 T magnet is perfectly adequate, but for complex, small structures, such as pituitary gland and temporal bone images, the 3T is much more accurate," says Holder. "We also prefer to scan patients with seizure disorders on the 3T. We have found some small brain abnormalities on the 3T not previously picked up on the 1.5T."
One of the most impressive features of the 3T MRI is the increased signal to noise ratio. Radiologists can acquire images with extremely high spatial resolution, which enhances tissue segmentation, helps differentiate tumors from surrounding tissue, and helps to detect subtle abnormalities that may be a source of seizures.
"This new technology is brings added benefits to our patients with complicated problems," says Holder. "Its increased diagnostic accuracy means greater diagnostic confidence for us and our referring physicians, and that's always a plus for the patients."
Emory University Hospital now has a total of two 3T MRIs -- one used exclusively for patient care, and the second exclusively for research.
For more information on the 3T MRI, please call the Emory Healthconnection at 404-778-7777.