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
Patient in MRI machine (Image: semakokal/iStock/Getty Images)

Closed MRI

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
Closed MRI machine (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Open MRI

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
Open MRI machine (Image: draguta/iStock/Getty Images)

Short-bore MRI

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
Man going into MRI machine (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Upright MRI

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.

Computer Workstation

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
Technician looking at MRI on computer screen (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

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