Mayo Clinic and GE’s Global Research Center have introduced a compact 3T MRI. An investigational research device, the compact 3T MRI was developed under a National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Research Partnership, with the expressed goal of focusing on scans of the head, wrists, ankles, and feet. The Mayo Clinic stated that approximately 45% of its clinical MRI volume includes these parts of the body.

Installed earlier this year at Mayo Clinic’s downtown Rochester, Minn, location, the compact 3T MRI provides a more comfortable experience, according to patients and volunteers. Unlike traditional MRI exams—where patients must lie prone on a table that completely enters the magnet—patients undergoing an MRI in the compact 3T system can have their arms and torso outside the magnet.

The prototype 3T MRI’s magnet is one-third the size of the magnet used in a conventional MRI, and it requires a fraction of the liquid helium to operate. Additional benefits include reduced electrical power and increased scan speed. High-quality images for diffusion MRI, functional MRI, and MR elastrography have been developed during the initial investigation and evaluation of the new system.

For more information about this equipment, visit Discovery’s Edge.