PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Radiological Associates (BRA) recently installed a new Philips Medical Systems open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, which provides increased patient comfort while maintaining the high quality of the imaging study. The Panorama 0.6T offers the widest patient opening of any MRI scanner, which greatly reduces and often eliminates patient anxiety and claustrophobia.
“The Panorama system is an important part of Berkshire Radiological Associates,” said Dr. Jerome Auerbach. “We wanted a state-of-the-art MRI scanner capable of performing the full range of diagnostic studies, but our priority was to obtain an open patient-friendly system that would help calm patients. Our new ‘wide-open’ MRI meets that criteria and works well with pediatric, elderly and large patients.”
According to Dr. Robert Geehr, MRI scanners are a critical tool for radiologists. “MRI scanners assist doctors in diagnosing a variety of diseases and problems by making detailed images of internal anatomy. Unlike X-ray, MRI does not use radiation to make these images. Rather, it employs a strong but harmless magnetic field to align protons within the body’s water molecules. Then, short radio frequency pulses are used to tip the protons out of alignment. As the protons return to their original alignment, they emit a very small but measurable signal. An MRI scanner’s powerful computer technology uses these signals to build strikingly crisp images of anatomy and disease in the brain, blood vessels, musculoskeletal system, abdomen and pelvis.”
The Panorama is C-shaped, which means that patients enter sideways for all imaging studies, rather than head-first or feet-first. This design, combined with the largest patient opening of any MRI in this category, means that the patient will never be enclosed and will always be able to see out.
“With this scanner, we can access the patient from all three sides,” noted Dr. Stuart Masters. “Also, it is specially equipped to reduce noise associated with MRI scanners, which further calms patients, especially children.”
Berkshire Radiological Associates, PC is a group of Board Certified Radiologists who have served Berkshire County since 1976. Their new MRI center is located at 116 Routes 20 and 22, in New Lebanon, NY and their $3.5 million state-of-the-art imaging facility, which opened in 2003, is located at 610 North Street in Pittsfield.