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Frequently Asked Questions About Open-Bore MRI Machines

What is an "open bore" MRI machine? How does it compare to traditional MRI machines or the "totally open" MRI machines?

The MRI machine with "open bore" has a larger opening than traditional MRI machines, making it easier for patients who are claustrophobic to have MRI scans, without sedation. In contrast to a "completely open" MRI machine it still has a tunnel the patient must pass through, but the opening (or "bore") is wider and much shorter. The patient having their spine or pelvis examined will rest with their head and lower extremities outside the magnet.

What are some of the advantages to this machine? Is it more fast or powerful?

Dartmouth-Hitchcock's machine is a 1.5T magnet, rather than the 0.7T machine and is therefore a true high-field magnet. This means it provides a faster exam time for patients, and provides the doctors with a more detailed image, in addition to relieving the problem of claustrophobia.

Can this magnet accommodate larger patients?

This magnet will better serve our larger and bariatric patients, with a weight limit of 550 lbs.

How does the size of the Open Bore compare to that of the traditional MRI machines?

Compared to the traditional MRI magnet, the diameter of the open bore is 70 cm (28 inches) instead of 60cm (24 inches). The length of the magnet bore is 125 cm. (50 inches).

Will I have all my MRIs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock done on the Open-Bore MRI machine?

If you are claustrophobic or a larger-sized patient, every effort will be made to schedule your MRI on this machine. Also, certain studies involving positioning of the upper arms may require patients to be scanned on the open-bore machine. If you don't meet this criteria, you may be scanned on our other excellent MRI machine. If you have formerly had a brain scan, we may scan you again on the same MRI machine you were originally scanned on for best comparison of your anatomy.

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