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ACR imaging phantom won't fit niche MRIs

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One size fits all does not apply to the American College of Radiology's effort to develop an imaging phantom for its anxiously awaited MRI accreditationprogram. Although the phantom's exact specifications are classified,SCAN has learned that the first

One size fits all does not apply to the American College of Radiology's effort to develop an imaging phantom for its anxiously awaited MRI accreditationprogram.

Although the phantom's exact specifications are classified,SCAN has learned that the first version of the phantom will betoo large to fit into the small bore of niche MRI scanners. Theaccreditation program is expected to begin accepting applicationsin the next six months, according to ACR officials.

The problem affects the 0.2-tesla Artoscan, distributed inthe U.S. by Lunar of Madison, WI, and the 0.3-tesla Magna-SL,made by Magna-Lab of Hicksville, NY.

Developed by Italian manufacturer Esaote Biomedica, Artoscanis designed exclusively to image extremities. The bore is only18 cm in diameter. Magna-SL also features a small bore openingfor imaging hands, elbows, knees and feet.

The users and manufacturers of these systems are not to worry,however, according to sources familiar with MRI accreditationplanning. Niche scanners will be exempt from the phantom imagingportion of the accreditation testing process. System performancewill be tested by an evaluation of clinical images, and the siteswill be required to submit a standard application form.

The exemption will continue until the ACR's MRI physics subcommitteedesigns a phantom specifically for niche scanners. That designis not expected until after the rest of the program is under way.

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