Elscint improves mid-field magnet design

November 23, 1994

Elscint's contributionto the RSNA meeting's bumper crop of new MRI systems is Privilege,a work-in-progress 0.5-tesla scanner designed to be the successorto the vendor's current mid-field offering, Gyrex V. Elscint, of Haifa, Israel, designed Privilege

Elscint's contributionto the RSNA meeting's bumper crop of new MRI systems is Privilege,a work-in-progress 0.5-tesla scanner designed to be the successorto the vendor's current mid-field offering, Gyrex V.

Elscint, of Haifa, Israel, designed Privilege to be a compact,full-featured MRI system that sells for less than $1 million.To develop Privilege, Elscint designed a new magnet, computerand gradient system, according to Zvi Goldman, senior scientistat the customer support headquarters of Elscint's Hackensack,NJ-based U.S. subsidiary.

Privilege has a superconducting magnet and offers featuressuch as MR angiography and phased-array spine coils. It will comeequipped with passively shielded gradients and digital RF. Thescanner uses a Silicon Graphics Onyx workstation with a Unix operatingsystem. Elscint will price the system at around $850,000.

Privilege will be well-suited as a replacement for mobile systemsnow being used by rural hospitals, according to Goldman. The systemwill be especially compact and lightweight, with the magnet measuring152 centimeters in length and weighing 3.5 metric tons, less than20% of the weight of Gyrex V.

The low weight is particularly surprising because the magnetis passively shielded. Elscint achieved this feat through yearsof experience designing its own magnets, according to Goldman.The company has been making magnets at Elscint Cryogenics forthe past decade.

The trend in recent years among MRI vendors has been to modularizeproduct lines to allow cost-effective development of product familiesthat cover a range of field strengths. Privilege could be a firststep in that direction, although Goldman declined to state whetherElscint planned to transfer the technology to other field strengths.

Elscint is working on filing a 510(k) application with theFood and Drug Administration to market Privilege in the U.S.

Elscint also will unveil a new CT scanner, Helicat S, whichbrings the vendor's spiral scanning technology to a lower pricepoint. Elscint rolled out the Helicat family at last year's conference(SCAN 10/6/93).

Helicat S is a two-second scanner capable of doing up to 60seconds of spiral scanning, according to CT product manager JerryArenson. Elscint has received FDA clearance for Helicat S, Arensonsaid.