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Open MRI vs Closed MRI

JEMJJEM Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I recently had a closed MRI for my cervical spine. When I got the written report, the radiologist started it off with this.

FINDINGS: Please note that this examination is inherently limited for the detection of didease as the spatial resolution of 0.3 Tesla imaging is significantly inferior to that of 1.5 Tesla imaging.

The report then continued on with a load of bad news. I'm having a closed MRI on Thursday, and I'm worried about what they'll find. Has anyone had two MRIs on the same area, using an open and closed machines? Were the findings vastly different?

I'm sorry if I'm posting this in the wrong forum. Mods, please move if you want.
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Comments

  • The closed MRIs produce clearer images...so just try to relax and think about the fact that you are ultimately helping yourself get the best diagnosis possible, etc.

    Hopefully it won't show anything different -- just pinpoint with more accuracy what's there.

    Hang in there ~

    xx Gwennie

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,736
    The OPEN MRI's just started to come into production a few years ago. They initial intent was to provide a tool to perform the MRI diagnostic testing for patients that were a) Claustrophobic or 2) Too obese to fit into the Closed models.
    These Open MRI's provide good MRI images but not to the quality of detail and resolution as the Closed MRI's. The magnets used are just not that advanced.
    However, recently a lot of progress has been made with the hardware used inside the Open MRIs. They are still not at the level of the Closed MRIs, but from everything I have read and discussed in a few short years both Closed and Open MRI will be able to produce the exact quality of images.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Do your best to get a closed MRI.. I recently had an open MRI and compared the images side by side and the open MRI images were awful (fuzzy and blotchy) while the closed MRI was so detailed, you could see the individual nerves inside the dura.
  • As the others have said, the closed MRI pics are of better quality.

    Linda
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • If insurance is paying the bill, I wouldn't settle for anything lower than a 2.0 Tesla MRI. 3.0 Teslas are VERY clear from what I have seen.

    Keep in mind, for the spine, it may also be important to be able to stand in order to put a load on speculative discs.
  • like valium that'll help you relax a lil during your closed mri. Thats what I have to do. That and take my muscle relaxer at the same time.


    Good luck


    Christina >:D<
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    For spinal or head related MRI where I'm "in" the machine I have to have valium. Most facilities are open to that (your physician must prescribe it and you take it when you arrive at the facility). But they will insist you have a driver to take you home if you have the MRI with valium or any other type of sedation.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I took a valium before mine. Though they were surprised I didn't have a driver so I assured them I was going to hang out in the lobby and car afterward.

    Hint: I found that closing your eyes before they slide you into the tube is key. If you don't know how big/small the space is . . .it isn't as big a deal. I am SO glad I did this.

    I opened my eyes before she pulled me out and I am sure I would have been fine but thinking about it was making me very anxious.
  • Sometimes they will play music for you while you're in there. Ask them if they have that option. The very first MRI I had to take they played my favorite radio station for me. It helped a bit, though I'm not claustrophobic so I'm sorry if this doesn't help you.
  • Yeah they play music but once that machine goes, you can barely hear it. Ask them to turn it up.

    Also, they do give you a 'panic' button too. I held onto that closely.
  • I have a touch of claustrophobia, but my husband works 3rd shift and can't drive me, so no Valium for me. They put a washcloth over my eyes, and I was fine. Of course, my fingerprints were imprinted on the panic button casing LOL
  • an closed and then an open MRI about 5 months apart.

    Both were viewed with my surgeon and both appeared to be same clarity.

    This was my first experience in an Open MRI. I don't
    know if there are different kinds of open MRI's. But
    mine was enclosed around me, however, just behind my head if I rolled my eyes it was open and I could see the room.

    I also was offered music of my choice. It's funny but the music was louder than I wanted it to be. I
    did not hear the MRI machine.

    In my closed MRI, I was given earplugs. Did not have earplugs in open MRI.

    Hope this helps some.
  • an closed and then an open MRI about 5 months apart.

    Both were viewed with my surgeon and both appeared to be same clarity.

    This was my first experience in an Open MRI. I don't
    know if there are different kinds of open MRI's. But
    mine was enclosed around me, however, just behind my head if I rolled my eyes it was open and I could see the room.

    I also was offered music of my choice. It's funny but the music was louder than I wanted it to be. I
    did not hear the MRI machine.

    In my closed MRI, I was given earplugs. Did not have earplugs in open MRI.

    Hope this helps some.
  • The key thing here (that has not been mentioned) is you want to go somewhere that has good experienced Radiologist reading for them, the technology that is available for MOST Open MRI machines today is far more advanced than it was years ago and the option for "Open MRI" has been around for over 15 years now. Its True that the higher the tesla of the magnet the more clear the images the machine is capable of producing, and closed MRI machines can be better for certain area's of the body, (such as the Abdomen) however, the slightest motion in ANY MRI unit will result in a picture that is sub-par no matter what machine you choose. The best thing you can do is go where you are most comfortable and stay as still as you can, as long as the radiologist is experienced than you will get all the answers you need for your Cervical MRI. If the Radiologist is starting off by saying its an Open Unit so there may be things that are missed, I would question his ability to read not the machine...Radiologist all over the country read scans from Open machines on a daily basis for everything from accidents to injuries that require surgery.
  • I an claustrophobic and even the open one was difficult for me but it was more for the cage around my head. They did place a washcloth over my eyes which helped a lot so I couldn't see everything around me.
    Tracie C
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,736
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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