PHCS News

“Next-Generation” MRI Comes to University Medical Center at Princeton

Nov 10, 2008

Today's new magnetic resonance scanners are letting doctors see the body as never before, leading to faster, more accurate diagnoses and ultimately better care for patients. University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP) recently acquired a 3.0T MRI -- one of the most advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems available.

UMCP's new 3T MRI captures images with extraordinary detail and clarity and offers a wide rage of benefits for patients across numerous medical specialties.

Used for breast exams, the 3.0T MRI can help specialists catch cancer earlier - and see it better. More detailed images of the brain let neurologists see sooner how a tumor is responding to treatment. Orthopedic specialists can get a view of bone and joint structure that only open surgery could previously provide, while cardiac and vascular specialists can better detect and diagnose heart problems and potentially fatal aneurysms.

"This next-generation system is giving UMCP physicians improved image clarity for neurological, orthopedic, oncology and cardiac studies, resulting in even more precise diagnoses," said Gerard Compito, MD, who with Dr. Jonathan Lebowitz, co-directs the MRI service at UMCP.

Unlike X-ray machines, which use radiation to produce images, MRIs use powerful magnets whose strength is measured in units known as Teslas.  While many MRI scanners have magnets strengths of .5 or 1.5 Tesla, the 3.0T MRI has a strength of three Tesla, giving it twice the strength of conventional systems.

"That extra strength means not only more detailed images, but also faster exams, and that's welcome news for patients," added Dr. Lebowitz. "A person who once needed to remain still for a 30-minute MRI may now be able receive the save examination in half that time."

Staying still for a lengthy MRI can be especially difficult for children, making the faster scan rates of the 3.0T MRI a real benefit for both children and their parents.

The new MRI is located in a recently expanded wing of UMCP's Radiology Department at 253 Witherspoon Street in Princeton. MRI results are read by board certified radiologists on staff at UMCP and usually provided in less than a day's time. Immediate result reports are also available.

MR   Signa HDx 3T AnkleWeb
An image of an ankle scanned by a 3.0T MRI captures an extraordinary
level of detail. File photo of the 3.0T MRI used by University Medical
Center at Princeton, the Signa HDx3 made by General Electric.