MRI Broadening the Field
The demand for MRI systems remains as steady as rock. Procedures reached 21.9 million in 2002, a 22 percent jump from 18 million in 2001, according to IMV Medical Information Division. IMV predicts MRI installations will exceed 1,000 units per year for the next five years. In addition, the study found that 1.5 Tesla systems are furthering cardiac and vascular applications in routine clinical settings.  

GE Medical Systems (booth #4500) is showing off its recently FDA-cleared new 3.0 Tesla ultra-short MRI system. GEMS says the Signa Excite 3.0T combines the increased speed and higher resolution of an ultra-high field system with the imaging capabilities of premium 1.5 Tesla systems. Signa Excite 3.0T has full 45 cm field-of-view imaging capability for neurovascular, orthopedic, abdominal and cardiovascular applications. The system also has a 60 cm bore diameter and a short bore length for patient comfort.

Toshiba America Medical Systems (booths #1551 & #7749) is showcasing its recently launched Excelart Vantage 1.5 Tesla high-field MRI system for all imaging techniques. The Vantage features half-fourier R/F refocused sequence for very high speed 2D and 3D T2 weighted imaging for imaging vascular structures in the abdomen and chest. TAMS adds that the technique aids in magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

Medrad Inc.'s (booth #7727) Continuum MR compatible infusion system has been enhanced to enable two new infusion modes for patients undergoing MR procedures. The new software enables physicians and nurses to program weight-based dose parameters into the Continuum infusion pump, which automatically calculates and displays the real-time required flow rate of intravenous medication. The software also enables the administration of an automatic bolus of medication and offers users the ability to program flow rate limits.