Musculoskeletal MR System Receives FDA Clearance
GE Healthcare late last week announced FDA clearance of its new Optima™ MR430s 1.5T scanner. Intended to deliver precise imaging of the arm, including the elbow, wrist, and hand; or the leg, including the knee, ankle, and foot, the musculoskeletal MR system delivers 70mT/m of strength and 300T/m/s of slew rate. Short echo spacing and a high signal-to-noise ratio enable high resolution and sharp images, the company claims, while a small footprint (approximately 222 square feet) conserves space. The system reportedly allows more comfortable extremity scanning than would be possible with whole-body scanners because patients can sit in a chair beside it while undergoing imaging procedures. This minimizes patients’ anxiety and subsequent tendency to move around, yielding clearer, more consistent images, according to the company. “Greater patient comfort with uncompromised image quality is at the heart of the design of this system,” says Paritosh Dhawale, general manager of specialty MR for GE Healthcare. “Because their heads remain outside of the scanner, the patient experience is more comfortable than that of a conventional MR scanner. Additionally, children may be joined by an adult in the exam room.” For technologists, the innovative design of the Optima MR430s helps improve productivity by alleviating time-consuming tasks, such as positioning patients and managing their anxiety. Six iso-centric dedicated RF coils can accommodate a full range of patient sizes and anatomies. The system’s design also ensures that the targeted anatomy is precisely positioned at the magnet’s isocenter, and coil proximity increases signal to noise ratio for high clarity—even in small anatomies. Jim Davis, general manager for GE Healthcare’s Magnetic Reonance Imaging business, adds that the Optima MR430s also helps to alleviate demand on hospital’s full-body scanner, thereby relieving patient backlogs and bolstering radiology department efficiencies. The small footprint allows for easy siting and lower installation costs, while the lightweight magnet fits through standard doors.