Magnetic resonance imaging, also known as MRI, is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that allows for interior of the inside of a patient’s body to be taken with a high degree of definition. Unlike computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging does not use ionising radiation, but rather takes advantage of a quality of the atoms’ nuclei to align their magnetic momentum in the presence of a powerful magnetic field, and to “resonate” when that magnetic field varies, emitting radiofrequency signals that can be detected. These signals are processed by a computer system and converted into images of the interior of the body.

Magnetic resonance systems are equipped with large superconducting electromagnets that operate at intensities of between 0.5 and 7 teslas (T). To get an idea, the intensity of the Earth’s magnetic field on the planet’s surface ranges between 25 and 65 μT (1 μT=10-6 T). In other words, really powerful magnetic fields are used.

Intravenous infusion equipment during a magnetic resonance

Anyone who has had an MRI knows that the staff that performs it is extremely careful to remove all metal objects from the patient’s body, as they would be immediately pulled to the walls of the electromagnet when turning it on. This is why people with surgically implanted pacemakers or metal prostheses in their body cannot undergo this type of testing.

The electromagnetic signals that atoms of the body emit during the process are extremely weak, so they need antennas and amplifiers to be detected and processed.

When any electronic or electromechanical device is used in the vicinity of a magnetic resonance machine, said device also emits electromagnetic signals that can be picked up by the antennas and cause erroneous images (what are known as “artefacts”).

Similarly, the high intensity of the magnetic fields used can affect nearby electronic devices, such as infusion devices, causing them to malfunction or even turn off.

However, there are situations in which the person undergoing an MRI needs to continue receiving some type of drug during the test.

At arcomed we have developed our UniQue MRI Shield system, a shield that allows infusion pumps to continue being used during MRIs without being affected by the operation of the MRI device and vice versa. This minimises the risk of image artefacts occurring while ensuring proper functioning of the pumps.

This shield has a connection base for two or four  pumps, in addition to allowing control and remote viewing of the pump’s parameters, thanks to its glass front door and  the arcomed Chroma pumps being equipped with a large high-contrast colour screen.

At arcomed innovation is our flag. UniQue MRI Shield is an example of our collaboration with clinical teams to respond to their needs. Welcome to the world of arcomed.