Open MRI Versus Closed MRI

Open MRI scanners take the claustrophobia and size limitations out of the MRI equation. This makes these newer scanners perfect for a number of patients, and we have seen great results using our machine at Middletown Medical Imaging. There are a number of other differences between an open MRI and a closed one, however.

Magnetic ImagingOpen MRI

Although our open MRI machines allow us to provide patients the medical imaging they need in a more open, less confining environment, the openness of the device is not entirely where open MRI machines get their name. The machines’ mostly come from the magnets that drive their imaging. The tunnel-like structure allows users to generate an intense magnetic field.

When a patient lies within the strong magnetic field produced by closed and open MRI scanners, we are able to produce a detailed (with the help of a few radio-wave pulses and the way protons behave in the human body).

Open for Change

Open MRI scanners work the same way closed scanners do. The difference is the two open magnetic discs they use to produce medical images. Due to advances in technology and building applications, these machines also produce and use relatively weaker magnetic fields. Even so, open MRIs are able to meet the demands of most MRI scans.

Being able to choose between an open and closed MRI scan is important to patients and to doctors. Of course, feeling comfortable is of the utmost concern. That’s why our facility incorporates state-of-the-art communications systems and comfortable seating in our open MRI setup. One of the greatest differences—and benefits—open MRI systems offer doctors is the ability to conduct motion studies of joints. This is not possible within a closed system.

MRI Pros and Cons

Each system has its strong points. For most applications, it depends on your—the patient’s—preference. Closed MRI scanners typically scan faster, although less comfortably for most individuals. In addition, a few specific scans, like MR myelograms and other diagnostic evaluations that require higher resolution imaging, can only be performed using the high field of a close scanner. Before you decide which is right for you, discuss it with your doctor or one of our radiologists. They will help you decide which type of scan is right for your individual needs.