May 30, 2006
CONTACT: Susanne Hartman
Combination of Three New, High-Powered MRI Systems
at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
(Philadelphia, PA) - The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is now home to three brand new, state-of-the-art, high powered MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) systems. The combination of the three units is a “Radiology First” for any hospital in the United States, which is especially fitting since HUP was the first hospital to get and use an MRI back in 1984.
Now standing side-by-side on the ground floor of HUP in the newly renovated MR Suite in the Devon Imaging Center, each scanner offers unique capabilities:
1) MAGNETOM ESPREE - FOR LARGER PATIENTS
“The open configuration will also allow us to reach the patient while still in the scanner, in order to perform breast biopsies and certain interventional procedures like needle ablation,” said Mitchell Schnall, MD, PhD, Associate Chair of Research in Radiology at Penn.
2) MAGNETOM AVANTO - CAPTURES A FASTER BEATING HEART
“The heart is hard to image because of its constant movement of pumping blood; normally you have to be able to scan fast enough within heartbeats and breath holds,” comments Harold Litt, MD, PhD, Chief of Cardiovascular Imaging at Penn. “But now we can image patients while they are breathing and still get a sharp image.”
3) MAGNETOM TRIO - SHARPER IMAGING OF THE BRAIN
Elias Melhem, MD, PhD, Associate Chair for Neuroradiology at Penn, adds, “This is an ultra high field; it has twice the field strength, creating a new level of excellence in imaging the brain and potentially allowing us to detect and diagnose disease states earlier. What this means is, with this scanner, for instance in brain tumor imaging -- we may be able to identify what type it is, what its true extent is, and even try to assess the outcomes of certain treatments.”
Another interesting component to all three of the new MRIs is that they are outfitted with Tim (Total imaging matrix) technology, meaning that all the coils needed to perform a scan on different body parts are already in place. Therefore, a patient does not have to be moved in and out of the scanner several times while a coil is moved around. This makes it more comfortable for the patient and also significantly lessens the scan time.
Nick Bryan, MD, PhD, Chair of Radiology at Penn, summarizes the importance of this new addition, “It can be frightening to go see a doctor, much less have a scan done. Essentially what this new complement of scanners is offering to our patients is an experience that is more comfortable; higher strength scanners resulting in higher quality images obtained faster; and leading, ultimately, to better diagnoses and treatment.”
Bryan goes on to say, “With a total of 10 MRI scanners in our health system, we now have a greater capacity for better exams on more patients.”
All three new magnets, made by Siemens, are now up and running for patients.
PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, which is consistently ranked one of the nation's few "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.