The north west’s only upright and open MRI scanner has welcomed its 1,500th patient.
The scanner, based at the European Scanning Centre near Manchester Airport, caters for claustrophobic and larger patients who aren’t able to tolerate the more traditional “tunnel” style MRI scanners.
It also allows scans to be carried out in a patient’s ‘position of pain’, which can be standing or seated.
This, in many cases, will show a change that is not present on a regular, horizontal scan which, in turn, can increase the diagnostic accuracy and clinical relevance of the report.
Centre Manager Anne-Marie Staples said: “Upright MRI scanners represent a significant step forward.
“Our scanner’s design is much less intimidating due to its openness and it is also quieter in operation.
“The upright scanner’s design is able to address two of the fundamental problems faced by conventional MRI scanners.
“The first problem is the inability of conventional scanners to scan the spine in a functional position.
“A major benefit of our scanner is that it addresses all of the aspect of an MRI scanner that patients dislike – mainly the enclosed space and the noise.”
“We audit our scans and in approximately 30% of cases, a weight-bearing lumbar spine scan shows changes that are not apparent on a regular lying or supine scan.”
The centre also has an ultrasound suite and carries out a full range of ultrasound and ultrasound guided joint injections for pain relief of tennis elbow and shoulder impingement to name but a few, all carried out by Consultant Radiologists.
The European Scanning Centre scans private and NHS-referred patients from the north west and further afield including Ireland and the Isle of Man.
European Scanning has three centres in the UK – in Manchester and Cardiff, with their main centre in Harley Street in London.