Investing in the most modern device for magnetic resonance 3 Tesla is a further confirmation of Acibadem Sistina’s commitment to be a leader in the region. Since its establishment, Acibadem Sistina Hospital invested in the newest generation of 1.5 Tesla magnet, introducing new modern healthcare services for the first time in Macedonia. Seven years later, in order to keep up with the latest medical technology, Acibadem Sistina invests in the latest generation of 3 Tesla MRI. Given its features and technology, this device is the only one of its kind in Southeast Europe.
Dr. Dusko Mihajloski, Head of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at Acibadem Sistina Hospital, gave us an inside about the advantages of 3 Tesla MRI.
One of the main patient dilemmas and fears is that the MRI is harmful to their health, i.e. that it “radiates”. Is the MRI safe?
Magnetic resonance had been commercially applied for more than 30 years and no lasting negative effects have been recorded in research and for a longer period of time. During the imaging process, sensation of heat may appear for a short period, as well as headache or dizziness, but it would only be transient and won’t have any lasting consequences. The imaging is very safe and as opposed to computer tomography and X-Ray, MRI can be used for pregnant women and fetuses. The MRI uses magnetic field force of 1, 1 and a half and 3 Tesla acceptable in clinical practice. For comparison, stronger magnetic fields than 4, 7, 9 Tesla are used for research and even they are not accompanied by any side effects. The human body can receive such dose of magnetic waves at a certain time without any consequences. The device itself calculates the exact amount of electromagnetic waves that should be emitted in order not to harm the human body in any case. All in all, the magnetic resonance imaging is a completely safe procedure.
Acibadem Sistina Hospital invested in the latest generation of 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging. What do patients actually get with this? What are the advantages of this device compared to 1.5 Tesla MRI?
3 Tesla MRI is an evolution in technology and of course in the diagnostic possibilities. There are numerous advantages for both the patient and the doctor, resulting in detecting the changes in the body. The new generation of the magnet increases the quality as well as the image resolution that allows us to detect even smaller structures and changes. The image obtained with 3 Tesla magnet enables earlier detection of the occurred changes than the ones detected with the 1.5 Tesla. We have had patients with no detected changes on the 1.5 Tesla image, while the change could be clearly defined on the 3 Tesla magnet image that the patient took abroad.
The 3 Tesla magnet advantage is especially distinguished for the detection of brain disease, whether it is a congenital or infectious disease. 3 Tesla has an absolute advantage over 1.5 T MRI since it presents the brain structures and changes far more accurately.
In one word, 3 Tesla MRI allows you to perform a better quality examination of the patient. It is good for the patient, as well as for the specialist in internal medicine, surgeon, cardiologist... It would be much better for the surgeon if we provide a more precise diagnosis or if we more precisely margin and define the change that we see. This is particularly important in brain surgery, by determining the part to be operated, since there are centers the brain where you mustn’t intervene.
Better comfort and shorter imaging time
The commodity and width of the tunnel is much greater in the new device for magnetic resonance imaging. Additionally, the table where the patient is placed is bigger and it is more practical for patients with greater weight. If 1.5 Tesla’s weight limitation was up to 130 kg, now the limitation is 200 kg.
“We’ve had some cases where we could not scan patients, whether because of their weight or because they did not fit in the tunnel. Patients with claustrophobia can be scanned by administering anesthesia with a special anesthetic apparatus which is compatible with the magnet. Additionally, the Silent scan technology built into the device drastically reduces the noise during the imaging process. In certain sequences of scanning of the head, spine and muscle structures it is completely noiseless,“ explains Dr. Dusko Mihajloski.
New interventions available for patients
New technologies that enable the implementation of new interventions are installed in the new magnet.
“Our device is equipped with all the latest modifications that offer significant advantages for the patient. This device is equipped with the so-called Magic sequence. Each magnetic resonance examination consists of sequences. The number of sequences depends on the part of the patient to be scanned. The new magnet allows up to 6 sequences in one scan and such scan takes about 6 and a half minutes. If these sequences were performed individually, the scanning would last at least 20 minutes. This means that the 3 Tesla magnet reduces the imaging time by two thirds. The shorter imaging time means a lot to patients. The shorter the time the lesser the possibility for the patient to become impatient and move. During the imaging process it is very important for the patient to stay absolutely calm,“ explains Dr. Mihajloski.
New services are available for patients at Acibadem Sistina Hospital with the new MRI device.
“It is equipped with everything to equip such a device. As a result of this, we can offer interventions to patients we were not able to perform before. One of them is spectroscopy that allows detection of the amount of certain metabolites on the cell level and thus to set a more accurate diagnosis. Spectroscopy can more precisely distinguish where the change has spread or see how it reacts to a particular radiation treatment and chemotherapy. We have the ability to measure the flow rate of the blood and spinal fluid. Another new service is the angiography, i.e. blood vessels imaging without contrast agent which is very important since there are patients who are not allowed to have contrast, “ says Dr. Mihajloski.
Full body screening (Total body MRI 3 Tesla)
With the help of 3 Tesla MRI, screening of the whole body can be performed. Total body MRI 3 Tesla is implemented for two purposes. One of them is to determine the stage of disease in malignant diseases, especially in lymphoma where the affected lymph nodes are searched. There is a great advantage to present the secondary metastases. The treatment is specified based on this.
“The other purpose is full body screening of people without health problems. This service is actually a health check up, detailed general examination applicable in all of the world's health centers. This service allows a view of your health with just one scan that takes less than an hour, which does not include radiation. Total body MRI 3 Tesla is a great replacement for the classic general examination that we annually perform. As an addition to this, this examination is more detailed. It can detect changes in the brain, abdomen, and thorax or whether there are certain changes in the body. If a certain change is detected, the Total body MRI is a starting point for further detailed examination,“ explains Dr. Mihajloski.