Musculoskeletal- and neuro-radiologist Dr Moya works at San Carlos Hospital, a public facility, and at the Advanced Surgery Centre of Virgén de la Paloma Hospital, a private institution where an Oasis 1.2-T MRI Scanner was recently installed. Open from 8am to 10pm her department scans 20 to 24 patients a day, mainly for ambulatory care.
Dr Moya: ‘A high percentage of the patients suffer from claustrophobia, and a significant number of patients prefer to be examined in an open-platform, probably because they feel more comfortable here than in a confined scanner.
‘The Oasis platform offers high field imaging, so we mainly perform MSK and nervous system examinations. Most of our patients come from traumatology and neurology. We also perform abdomen and mammography examinations, mainly in patients with claustrophobia. We rarely image obese patients; this population is still low in our country.’
Why did the Centre choose Hitachi’s equipment?
‘Ours is the first Oasis system installed at a private facility in Madrid. Only one public hospital had previously been equipped in the capital. This means we can now also offer this service to patients coming from the private sector, who represent a large number of patients in Spain.’
What is specifically good about working with Oasis?
‘Oasis is useful for any study that requires high field imaging. The wide open-platform enables us to perform high field studies in patients with claustrophobia who otherwise would never be able to benefit from, for instance, specific abdomen, liver or whole-body MR examinations, unless they are sedated.
‘The open-platform is very convenient. I have been working with the system since last September, and I find it very good not only for patients with claustrophobia but also for children. Young patients who undergo an examination in a confined bore tend to move because they are nervous. If one of their parents can sit and chat with them during the examination, it helps them relax. Putting them at ease definitely reduces the risk of repeated scans, decreases scan time and provides higher quality diagnostic images.’ Oasis 1.2-T features susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI), spectroscopy and perfusion, which all play an important role in neurological exams.
For MSK examinations, the open platform architecture helps to acquire an image radially. Many patients will voluntarily or involuntarily move during an examination. The flow and motion compensation technique of radial acquisition significantly improves image quality and expedites interpretation without having to sedate patients.
What could be changed in the future?
‘I am not sure how Oasis is going to develop further, but I think technology will soon enable the magnet power to increase to 1.5 or 2-T, which would definitely improve the offer for open high-field equipment. However, for the moment, I believe developments will rather focus on short bore MR equipment.’