New MRI machine brings CUHA to the forefront of medical imaging

CUHA has upgraded its Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) capability, offering unprecedented opportunities for advanced medical imaging. As part of the Janet L. Swanson Imaging Suite, the MRI and the recently installed 16-slice Aquilion LB CT scanner mark a huge leap forward in the Hospital’s clinical and research capacities, continuing CUHA’s commitment to innovation.

New System Features
The 1.5T Toshiba Vantage Atlas MRI scanner employs a high-field magnet capable of scanning any animal up to the size of a large dog, some large farm animals, and the limbs or heads of horses. A moveable table allows an anesthetized horse to be brought close enough to the magnet to scan those parts that can be pulled into the bore. Most veterinary colleges have similar systems though this model has the latest software and hardware available at 1.5T field strength. It is a “work-horse” scanner in the human imaging field.
“The exceptional detail and clarity of the image quality make it easier to diagnose more accurately,” says Dr. Peter Scrivani, radiologist at CUHA’s imaging department. “We are able to get more information about the patient’s health and disease status during the same length of examination, because the image acquisition time is shorter and the new scanner has additional functionality. The extended clinical applications offer a major advancement. We expect to use the machine mostly for neuroimaging and musculoskeletal imaging, and there is potential for thoracic or abdominal applications.”

Scanner Facility
Summer renovations at the Hospital ensured that the MRI can be operated with optimal efficiency and safety. The control room provides easy viewing of the scanner and patient and connects to a fully equipped anesthesia room for small animals. Equine anesthetic induction and recovery stalls are adjacent to the scan room. A large door at the back of the exam room opens directly to the large animal hospital, making it easy to accommodate imaging needs for equine and other large animals. A full complement of MRI-compatible monitoring equipment keeps anesthetized patients stable throughout the exam.

Available Services
The Toshiba MR and CT scanners comprise the Janet L. Swanson Imaging Suite and are now operational and available for CUHA patients by referral. Small animal MR scans are available daily. Horse scanning is progressing and protocols are under development. Veterinarians who would like to discuss the use of these modalities for their patients are welcome to contact the Imaging Section at the CUHA for advice and referral information. Please call 253-3060 for appointments or -3241 to have a radiologist consultation.

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