When it comes to the various MRI machine varieties, to anybody that isn't a physician they can seem confusing and foreign. With terms like "open", "closed", and "wide open" being used to describe an already intimidating imaging machine, we understand how they terms can be unclear. We are here to clear up the confusion and tell you everything you need to know about the different MRI machines.
3 Types Of MRI Machines
There are three types of MRI bores: closed, open, and wide. The term “bore” simply refers to the opening that the patient is placed in (it’s that tube you’re quite familiar with), and MRI types are determined by the size of the scanner’s bore.
Closed MRI’s have closed bores. Closed bores usually have a higher magnetic strength (somewhere between 1.0T and 3.0T), and a bore diameter of somewhere around 60 cm. Generally speaking the rule with MRI’s is that the smaller the bore, the greater the image clarity, so even though closed MRI’s are ranked lower for patient comfort, they’re definitely the best option if you need a high-clarity study.
As far as the other two types of MRI’s, this is where it gets a bit confusing, partly because machines with “open bores” and machines with “wide bores” are in many cases both referred to as “Open MRI machines”. This is how we like to differentiate between the two.
The Open MRI bore is completely different from a closed. Instead of the bore being like a tube that completely encircles the patient, it has two flat magnets above and below a large space where the patient lies. You’re not closed in, so if you’re claustrophobic or just enjoy having some extra space, then this is the MRI scan for you. We like to refer to machines with the open bore as “truly open MRI’s”.
Machines with the wide bore are what we call “sort of open MRI’s”, and they’re exactly what they sound like: a middle ground between open MRI’s and closed MRI’s. The wide bore is slightly larger than the closed bore, coming in at around 70cm, so patients get a little more space than they would in a traditional closed bored. Although wide bore machines are more “open” than closed bore machines, they still don’t provide patients with the amount of space necessary to classify as a “truly open” machine.
So which MRI Machine is best for you?
You now know everything you need to know about MRI machines and are knowledgeable enough to decide on which MRI machine best suits your needs. At Clovis Open MRI, we utilize Open MRI technology because it offers the best quality diagnostic imaging for our patients and ease those who struggle with claustrophobia. If you have any questions about Open MRI's or MRI scans in general, feel free to contact us!