Is an Open MRI Better than a Closed MRI?

ImageCare Radiology offers a wide range of imaging services, including closed and open MRI in New Jersey. The type of MRI that is recommended for your imaging appointment will be based on several factors, and each choice has its advantages and disadvantages.A Woman with Her Eyes Closed in an Enclosed MRI Machine Pictured from Inside from the Torso Up

Cons of Open MRI

• Open MRI produces lower-resolution images: An open MRI produces lower resolution images than a closed MRI. Because the open MRI uses weaker magnets than a closed MRI, it has a tougher time discerning fat from water during the scan, resulting in lower resolution images when smaller body parts are being scanned.

Open MRI scans may take longer to perform: Because a closed MRI surrounds the patient on all sides, it produces images faster. An open MRI only uses magnets above and below and not on the sides, so it takes longer to scan the targeted area and doesn’t produce full images.

Pros of Open MRI

• They are less enclosed: Many people experience claustrophobia, making an open MRI a more comfortable option for them.

• They are quieter: Closed MRI machines make more noise than open machines, and the enclosed nature of the closed MRI makes that noise seem even louder. The less noisy open MRI machine can make patients feel more at ease.

• They allow for standing: Some open MRI machines can be tilted to allow patients to remain standing during their scan, making it easier to diagnose certain diseases such as spinal injuries and back pain.

• They promote equity: Patients with disabilities that make it more difficult for them to move about may have a harder time using a closed MRI machine, or they may not be able to use one at all. Open MRIs are more accessible to people of varying abilities and levels of mobility.

• They are less sensitive to metal objects: If a patient has metal objects in their body from implants, the images from a closed MRI scan will be significantly reduced. Because the open MRI machine has weaker magnets, metal objects will impact the quality of the scan images less.

Closed and open MRI machines each have their advantages and disadvantages. Based on your condition and other concerns, your physician and radiology team will help you decide which option is best for your needs. Contact ImageCare Radiology today for closed or open MRI in New Jersey.