A practicing Neuroradiologist, I have over 30 years of experience in the spine and brain. Many patients are unable to tolerate a “closed MRI”. For patients with claustrophobic conditions, the MRI tube may be uncomfortable and may not work well for obese or overweight people.
The image quality of the “open MRI” system is comparable to that of a closed. The open MRI system does not cause any significant image quality degradation. Open MRI systems work well for patients with claustrophobic conditions, overweight patients, and patients who have difficulty in semi-closed environments. They are especially useful for children.
Doctors and patients should not be misled into believing that “open MRI” systems have inferior quality. In fact, the inability to scan large patients and lack of motion provide an advantage in quality for a significant portion of the population.