What Does MRI Equipment Look Like?

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MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines are offered in a variety of styles to fit the needs of patients. MRI machines can accommodate patients who suffer from claustrophobia, are overweight or have other medical conditions.

Patient in MRI machine
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The traditional closed MRI is a cylinder-shaped system in which a movable bed slides inside a narrow tunnel. The patient is fully surrounded by the cylinder.

Closed MRI machine
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An open MRI has a ring instead of a full tunnel that the movable bed slides into. The ring covers only the area of the body that the MRI is scanning.

Open MRI machine
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A short-bore MRI is similar to a closed MRI except it is approximately 50 percent shorter and 5 percent wider. The patient's entire body is not enclosed in a cylinder.

Man going into MRI machine
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An upright MRI is a top- and front-open scanner. The patient can sit, stand or choose from a variety of comfortable positions during the scan.

Each type of MRI scanner has a computer workstation that is located in a room attached to the scanner room. This is where the technician will sit to record the scan and give the patient directions.

Technician looking at MRI on computer screen
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