New Miniature MRI Scanner Installed in the UK
By Medimaging International staff writers
Posted on 31 Jan 2017
Image: The new MRI system designed for scanning newborn babies (Photo courtesy of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital).
A revolutionary new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system is designed for scanning newborn babies, and can be located in or close to a neonatal unit.
The prototype scanner is much smaller than standard MRI scanners, and can dramatically reduce the risk of imaging newborn babies by allowing them to be scanned without being moving to a remote MRI room, or a different hospital. The scanner can provide additional detail compared to a bedside ultrasound system.
The scanner took 12 years to develop and was installed at the Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital in Sheffield as part of a two-year research project intended to show the feasibility and benefits of imaging newborn babies within a neonatal unit.
Premature babies have a high risk of brain damage, and can stop breathing, or be susceptible to sudden blood pressure changes. They are often too fragile to be taken to a regular MRI scanner.
Susie Thoms, whose son took part in the research study, said "Not having to leave the department was a massive advantage, because having to transfer elsewhere at what is already a difficult time, would be a lot of extra stress for Toby, myself and the teams involved. You can get so much information from the MR images and see incredible detail. Toby coped with the scan really well and the care he received was absolutely brilliant on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Baby Unit."