Earlier this month the Imaging Research Center (IRC) at Cincinnati Children’s commissioned its seventh research MR scanner. This scanner is a state-of-the-art, 3 Tesla magnet with all the features needed to perform cutting-edge research and capture the very best clinical images. The new scanner is housed in the Imaging Center on the first floor of the T-Building and is adjacent to another 3 Tesla magnet installed in 2015.
Commissioning a new MR scanner takes time and coordination, especially when installing it next to another scanner that is in continuous use. Planning for the new scanner started last fall and it took several months of construction to convert office and lab space into a functional MR suite. The space was totally gutted and a new copper-shielded screen room was installed to prevent stray radiofrequency signals from interfering with the new scanner. A patient recovery area was created with the capacity to serve four patients at a time.
On May 19, the new magnet was lowered into position from Sabin Way using a large crane. The magnet was moved into position by an experienced team of riggers; within a week most of the building renovations were complete and the magnet was ready to be energized. Before electricity was added, however, a 360-degree, virtual-reality camera was brought into the room to capture a “street view” image of the new system, including views from inside the magnet bore. This had to be done before energizing the magnet since the camera would likely be damaged by the strong magnetic field once the magnet was up and running.
The new scanner is an Elition™ 3 Tesla MR system built by Philips Healthcare. This scanner has only been recently cleared for clinical use by the FDA, and ours is first to be delivered in North America. The new system includes the most powerful gradient system that Philips has ever delivered with a magnet. This system is expected to keep Cincinnati Children’s and the IRC at the leading edge for years to come.
Contributed by Charles Dumoulin, PhD, IRC Director, Professor of Radiology and edited by Tony Dandino, (SPEC-MR QUALITY)