Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), also known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), is an advanced diagnostic imaging technique which is now used in the majority of hospitals.
The main difference between MRI and Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT) is that the former technique does not use radiation (X-rays) to obtain images. Instead, MRI uses powerful magnetic fields to harness the quantum mechanical property of atomic nuclei, which in the presence of a very intense magnetic field “resonate” at a frequency which is directly proportional to the force of the field. This is why the word “nuclear” is often used in its definition, though in this case it does not refer to nuclear medicine (which is based on the use of radioactive substances for the diagnosis or treatment of illnesses) but rather the properties of the nuclei of the atoms.
By using detectors and combining the signal received with a powerful computer system, it is possible to create detailed images of the inside of patients’ bodies and their different anatomical structures, without the need to subject these patients to ionising radiation.
Some cases require the injection or intravenous infusion of chemical contrast materials which improve the quality of images or make anatomical structures visible when they would normally not be.
UniQueMRIShieldTM: Improved image quality through eliminating artefacts
When we talk about “artifacts” in diagnostic imaging, we mean false images or blurred areas which in the case of MRI appear due to interference with the magnetic fields of the machine. This interference can be caused by any ferromagnetic material, which is why patients are asked to undergo the test having removed all metal objects such as jewellery, rings and so on. Given the intensity of the magnetic fields used, any object present within the room or even outside of it, such as a large vehicle passing by outside, can affect the image. For this reason, the rooms housing MRI machines are normally located in parts of the hospital where this type of interference is reduced as far as possible.
However, whether it is due to the need to infuse a contrast material or because the continous infusion can’t be stopped on the patient while the test is being carried out, it is often necessary for one or more infusion pumps to be present in the same room in which the MRI tomography is situated. This can create disturbances in the magnetic fields as a result of electronic components or even the materials that the pumps are manufactured from, leading the aforementioned artifacts to appear on the screen and making the diagnosis more difficult.
In other side, the presence of high-intensity magnetic fields can cause the infusion pumps to malfunction or cause accidents by the sudden movement of some elements, due the high intensity of magnetic fields generated.
In order to avoid this risk, we have created the arcomed UniQueMRIShield™. This consists of a mobile support unit with a special shield that protects the pumps that are to be used, reducing the chance of artefacts appearing in the image at the same time as protecting the devices themselves from the effects generated by magnetic fields.
It is available in a range of sizes (2 or 4 modules) and enables the pumps to be seen from a distance (something which is helped by arcomed Chroma pumps’ large colour screens). This is important because healthcare workers are not present in the room for the duration of the test.
The arcomed UniQueMRIShieldTM represents yet another step forward for healthcare professionals, made available by arcomed in line with our philosophy of standardising and simplifying high technology in infusion.