GE Healthcare has announced that its Silent Scan MRI technology, which is designed to improve patient comfort by significantly reducing the noise generated during an MRI exam, is now available for MRI scans at St. Luke’s Warren Campus in Phillipsburg, NJ.

The company reports  that with its Silent Scan technology, instead of hearing the traditional loud clanging sound during an MRI, patients hear a softer sound that is similar to background noise. The reduction in audible noise is intended to help ease patient anxiety, and may also reduce scan times and the need for repeat scans, since patients are more relaxed and lie still.

“The Silent Scan decibel level is 77 dB,” said neuroradiologist Pratik Shukla, DO, section chief of Neuro Imaging for St. Luke’s University Health Network. “In comparison, standard MRI technologies produce a noise level well over 100 decibels, louder than a jackhammer, and almost as loud as a rock concert.”

The noise an MRI traditionally produces is related to the changes in the magnetic field that allow the slice-by-slice body scan to be carried out. As the speed of the MRI scanning process increases so does the noise level. During Silent Scan, the reduction in noise is reportedly achieved during the MRI using a new 3D scanning and reconstruction technique.

Patients having an MRI exam at St. Luke’s Warren Campus will be scanned in the recently-installed wider bore MRI from GE Healthcare. The technology is 10 cm larger than a standard bore MRI, allowing it to better accommodate larger patients and those who are claustrophobic. The depth of the magnet is also shorter, making it feel more open. To lessen anxiety, patients can choose to be scanned head or feet first, depending on their comfort level.

For more information about the Silent Scan MRI technology, visit the GE Healthcare website.