GE brings its first wide-bore 1.5T MR scanner to RSNA 2009

December 3, 2009

A high-field, wide-bore MR scanner from GE Healthcare is making its first appearance at an RSNA meeting. The system, called Optima MR450w, was officially unveiled some three months ago, but RSNA 2009 is its first major trade show.

A high-field, wide-bore MR scanner from GE Healthcare is making its first appearance at an RSNA meeting. The system, called Optima MR450w, was officially unveiled some three months ago, but RSNA 2009 is its first major trade show. It is the company's first such wide-bore scanner and at the meeting GE is emphasizing the practicality of the scanner in the context of its clinical capability.

The 70-cm bore of the scanner caters to patient comfort and increased efficiency, but not at the expense of image quality, according to the company. GE is arguing that the Optima MR 450w makes MR scans possible for the increasing number of patients whose medical problems are due to overweight, while quelling the fears that cause scans to be cut short or deliver less than the best results due to patient fidgeting.

To do this, GE engineers had to overcome challenges that result when the scanner bore is widened. Company executives said the new scanner provides full field-of-view coverage for the whole body, including the spine, abdomen, and pelvis. The only tradeoff between the wide-bore product and the company's conventional-bore, research-oriented Discovery MR 450 counterpart is gradient strength.

The gradients onboard the Optima MR 450w, however, are more than enough to perform any kind of clinical exam, according to the company. In support of this argument GE is showing multiple examples of high-end applications possible with the Optima MR 450w. Among them are high-resolution diffusion-weighted brain imaging with techniques that correct for susceptibility artifacts and eliminate those due to dental and surgical implants, two-station whole-spine imaging, breast and abdominal scans demonstrating fat suppression, and renal scans done without injected contrast.