The increased magnet strength gives us many benefits at no additional expense. It gives us the ability to scan faster or to scan with higher detail. We can diagnose superficial temporal arteritis without a biopsy. Only 3T imaging can do this. It gives us extra contrast enhancement with 1024 matrix resolution. Contrast on a 3T MRI unit gives you twice the enhancement you would get at a lower field strength like 1.5T. This means recornal failure patients get a safer study with less risk of Nephrogenic Systemic Sclerosis (NSF). MRI with the safest contrast concept means no incidence of NSF. We use only Prohance at 3T which is the worlds safest MR contrast. The cyclical chelation molecule is super stable and there are no cases of NSF when this safe contrast is used alone. As far as I know there has never been a reported case of NSF using 1/2 dose contrast. By using less contrast 3T is clearly safer. We also use the safest MR contrast concept (C)2008 - www.safecontrast.com - called Prohance. Macrocylical contrast molecules are the safest and when we discovered this fact in July 2008 we switched immediately to the safest contrast. It costs us 14 dollars more but it is worth it because it means we care. Call and ask. No one else uses Prohance as their standard contrast. Most use Magnevist which is cheaper and more dangerous. Why risk a less safe contrast? At 3T we are twice as sensitive to contrast so to be safest we use it at 1/2 dose. This was recommended by Dr. Richard Semelka in a web conference (Jan 2009) to many if not most of the radiologists in the country sponsored by a major drug company. He also in that same contrast called Magnevist - less safe. He ranked it in safety with Optimark and Omniscan which before this conference were considered even lower in safety. By making Magnevist less safe - he bascially vindicated my contrast choice - a few months after I changed our policy. I am always trying to make the most intelligent choices for my patients. For the patient, having three contrasts available is best. We believe that. We are ahead of the curve on contrast and also in 3T MRI of the breast and body and brain. MRI done at 3T is faster, better or more detailed - sometimes all at once. We also scan contiguously so in many cases we see up to 37% more lesions with the same scan time. You should read more about Prohance(tm). On our 1.5T OPEN MRI we use 1/2 dose Multihance. We also have availability of Eovist. No other facility stocks this. It costs 165 dollars a dose but we do because again - we care. We use this if your creatinine is elevated above 1.5. This is super safe as it is excreted 25% by the liver. If your kidneys do not function well it will be excreted by the liver and be out of your body in 24 hours. The safest contrast concept means stocking three kinds of contrast for your patients.
We can produce images of spectacular quality if you hold still for the examination. On our OPEN BORE MRI system we have the added advanced softwware called BLADE which freezes patient motion. On our Philips scanner this is called MV - multivane. This was recently reported in a radiology research journal that using BLADE superior image quality and detail is possible in PELVIC, abdomen, shoulder and brain imaging. We also can use BLADE for spine imaging if patients cannot hold still. Our brain images are so crisp and clear. We have picked up brain aneurysms on the routine images which saved the patients' life. Patients do no realize how important clear image quality is. For a radiologist image quality is the most important thing. We have the fastest and clearest images possible at 3T. A recent paper said that 3T produces superior images of the musculoskeletal system but that you had to image with 2mm thick contiguous images to get that benefit. We have done that since 2007. We have tried to create a friendly environment. We decided not to use skimpy gowns in the office. Many people find them drafty, embarrassing to wear and basically unfriendly. Instead we will provide you with sweats to wear during your examination. You can also wear your own gym shorts and t-shirts as long as there is no metal on them. Keep in mind, however, that even the smallest fleck of metal can ruin your MRI study. We encourage you to wear your own sweats or gym clothes as long as they have no metal fasteners or zippers. Also as it can get warm during the study we also have various sized t-shirts available for you to wear.
The real benefit of 3T is the use of fat saturation. FAT SATURATION IS MARKEDLY IMPROVED AT 3T. What this means is that we can get rid of the bright fat in the image which can sometimes hide the abnormality. By using 1/2 dose contrast and fat sat - the study becomes even more sensitive for tumors, infection and inflammation. At lower fields fat saturation is less effective. At 3T we get incredible fat sat images. This removes the high signal from fat and makes us more sensitive to blood products and enhancement. It also help us pick up lesions in the bone. So enhancing lesions just pop right out from the anatomy. The images we obtain at 3T are like looking at an anatomy book with incredible 512x512 or higher resolution. Most other scanners only scan with 256x192 or 256x256 resolution. And we also can scan with 1 or 2mm thickness. Most other scanners use 5 to 7 mm thickness. FAT SAT plus contrast lets us pick up inflammation or tumors which cannot be seen with other MRI scanners.
When we scan the joints and muscles - the ability of 3T MRI to see better bone detail and trabecular detail is a distinct advantage. We pick up more fractures. Just a week ago we picked up 10 lesions in the bone which indicated early bone cancer on a scan which was actually designed to pick up vascular detail. The added detail helped us find bone cancer in this patient - probably a year or two before it could be detected otherwise. Most doctors who are old fashioned choose CT scans but actually the marrow detail is much better with 3T MRI. Most doctors have no idea what they are missing by not ordering MRI studies which use no ionizing radiation. Even worse is the huge radiation dose that a 3 phase liver MIR of the pelvis and abdomen delivers to the patient. A single CT scan on one area has a chance of cancer created from the radiation of 1 in 1000. If you do a so called complete CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis both pre and post contrast you actually deliver 6 C T scans or a risk of cancer of about 1 in 160 and also the chance of kindey function reduction from the contrast of about 1 in 50. In most cases the reduction is temporary but in some patients they can develop complete renal failure from the CT contrast. Most doctors do not explain these risks to their patients. Contrast induced nephropathy is a big bad secret. Most doctors don't even know what this is. But they continue to prescribe high radiation dose CT scans with contrast without knowing about it.
Breast MRI benefits from all of these advantages, The best breast MRI is done at 3T. MR contrast is much safer than CT contrast. We use the safest contrast for breast MRI (Prohance 1/2 dose at 3T) as well so it's all about patient care here. We give the results of the breast MRI as you get off the table and a doctor monitors the exam in every exam. There is not just a tech scanning. There is always a doctor present for breast MRI studies. Prohance is the safest gadolinium contrast known to man. Our 3T scanner makes the best breast MRI pictures. The higher resolution lets us see the margins of the tumor more clearly. This makes a difference in the diagnosis. I recently attended a breast MRI conference with Elizabeth Morris from NYC - Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital. She just got her 3T MRI system and she loves it! Although you can do breast MRI on a 1.5T system, I would say that 3T is simply better. And if it was my family member I want it done on the clearest MRI system possible. The recent publication in the radiology literature that 3T is 100% sensitive adds more impetus to recommend 3T breast MRI. www.3tbreastmri.com
3T is faster, clearer, more diagnostic and better for MRI. Because it has twice the magnet strength it is easy to say 3T is twice as good. But it actually can scan 4 times faster! So all of our studies are faster and better. The more I see nervous patients or patients who don't like being inside the MRI system - I am always happy that the scanner is twice or four times as fast! For truly claustrophobic patients we have the BEST OPEN MRI in the world. www.bestopenmri.net The Siemens ESPREE scanner is the least claustrophobic and widest MRI scanner in the world. It is wider and sn shorter than most scanners. It is the most spacious scanner inside since 2004. It has a table weight limit of 550 lbs. We scan many patients who simply cannot be scanned on any other MRI scanner. We also offer conscious sedation by IV (Valium) and therefore do not take any pills prior to coming to our office if you prefer sedation. We prefer the consistency of IV Valium sedation. Choose the only facility that specializes in both closed and OPEN MRI with the best machines in Delaware! get the best!
Our 32 channel 3T scanner is world class. There are only about 100 32 channel systems installed around the world. In the Philips 3T world only 4 such head coils have been purchased. That means we are one of the 4 best Philips Achieva sites for brain imaging. Ask and search the web. Our competitor who charges MUCH MORE for the same 3T MRI - does not even have a 32 channel coil. We charge a special $500 cash discount for non contrast brain MRI. Only a few years ago 32 channel technology was considered super high quality imaging. It is like having a six tesla scanner because your signal to noise is increased. This is a true advancement in brain imaging. I am only saddened because most neurologists and neurosurgeons do not know this fact - even if you were to ask them. I hope more people spread the word. Using the 32 channel technology diffusion tensor imaging and fiber tracking becomes fast and easy. We can see subtle brain damage easily using this technology. If you have had head trauma or had exposure to a bomb blast you can have microscopic brain damage. You need a DTI study to see if you were injured. I think we are the only people who offer this. We also have a radiologist who was voted Top Doctor in Delaware Today magazine. Dr. Chao was one of 5 radiologists selected by his peers. (2012)