MRI Machine Types

When deciding which MRI Scanner will work best with your hospital or imaging center, there are many factors at play to consider before you find your perfect match. As you embark on your MRI purchasing journey, you will come across a recurring question about what type of machine to choose; Should I buy a 1.5T or 3T MRI machine? So deciding what magnetic strength your MRI machine needs can make a difference in determining if it will be the best fit for you

MRI machines come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to speed, image quality, and most importantly, cost. In this article, we'll explain the differences between a 1.5T or 3T MRI machine that you'll need to know so that you can make the most informed decision.

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The Difference Between a 1.5T and 3T MRI Machine

The strength of the MRI magnet, which is measured in Tesla, is what differentiates these two machines. So, a 1.5T MRI machine has half the magnetic strength of a 3T MRI machine. A 1.5T machine doesn't necessarily mean that it works half as well as its 3T counterpart, it simply means that its magnetic signal is half. But this does not mean that a 3T is a clear choice because it is stronger, in most cases, a 1.5T MRI machine is the more popular option and will perform all the needed scan results for your practices.

What to Expect from a 1.5T MRI

The 1.5T MRI machine is the standard and most popular choice in most cases because it can perform all the results that you would need out of your scans.  A 1.5T machine will take a longer scan time than a 3T because a shorter scan time on a 1.5T will produce images that are not as clear as if you were to scan for a longer timeframe.

What to Expect from a 3T MRI

In terms of the speed of your MRI machine, a 3T machine will provide faster scan times because it has double the signal strength. So if you're looking for a machine that will give you a higher patient throughput and turnover rate, a 3T will allow you to scan patients at a faster rate without sacrificing image quality. Due to its magnetic field strength, a 3T will produce more vivid and crisp images because the image noise is greatly reduced, resulting in more signals to allow for a better quality image.

The Verdict

What your choice narrows down to is cost. A 3T machine will typically cost you twice as much as its 1.5T counterpart, but with the higher price, you will receive clearer image quality, faster scan times, and be able to differentiate your practice from others. A 1.5T machine will give you all the results most practices need at half the price. A 1.5T machine is also more readily available for purchase in both a new or used model, whereas it will likely take the purchaser more time to find a 3T as they are commonly less available than the more popular 1.5T. Overall, a 1.5T MRI machine will  provide you with great image quality and is often the more budget and practice-friendly choice, but if you're looking for a more efficient throughput, the 3T MRI is right for you.

For more information on purchasing a 1.5T MRI or a 3T MRI machine, contact a Probo Medical specialist who can help you decide on which machine is the best fit for your practice.