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4 Types of MRI Machines – Understanding Their Differences

by | Jun 21, 2021 | MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an important part of your medical imaging center. This complex imaging machine works by converting returning signals into images using a powerful magnet. Healthcare professionals can use this innovative technology to detect a wide variety of health conditions, including bleeding, swelling, tumors, cysts, infections, and more. 

MRI machines come in various types, and each has a unique purpose and features. Learn more about them and their differences by using this article as your guide.


What Makes Every MRI Machine Different?

Each MRI machine has one-of-a-kind features. One of them is magnetic strength, which affects the image quality of an MRI depending on the signal and field strength ranging from 0.5-3.0 tesla (T). The varying magnet strengths impact the radio waves that create the image. 

Another characteristic that makes every type of MRI machine different is its bore size, which significantly affects its purpose and functionality. It refers to the opening or center of the machine, and the area around it is where the magnet is located. 

Old MRI scanners only have a 60-centimeter bore, which could not accommodate bigger patients or those with claustrophobia. Fortunately, there are now larger machines with a 70-centimeter bore. They need a higher magnetic field strength.


What Are the Different Types of MRI Machines?

  • Open MRI machine

An open MRI machine is similar to an X-ray machine because it has two sides that place patients in between them. Since it does not have four sides, unlike other MRI machines, its Tesla rating is much lower, which is usually 0.5-0.6T. 

This machine has more open space, making it the best option for more body types. It is ideal for larger or claustrophobic patients who cannot be accommodated by other bores. They can get through the machine in an upright or lying position. A drawback of this scanner is that it can take more time to produce images and may not offer the same details as closed machines.

  • High-field open MRI machine

A high-field MRI is considered an open MRI because of its open tube on both ends. It also has bores on all four sides but is much more open. Compared to traditional machines, it has a higher power magnetic field. It is ideal for claustrophobic patients or those who cannot be accommodated by closed-bore MRI machines and require a higher tesla.

  • 3T wide-bore MRI machine

A 3T machine has the greatest strength among all MRI machines. Its scanner produces extremely clear and vivid images, making it the best option for imaging the brain and spine, small bones, musculoskeletal structures, breast tissue, and vascular flow. While it is exceptional in creating fine-detail images, it is prone to capturing images that are not there due to the speed and intensity of the imaging.

  • 1.5T wide-bore MRI machine

1.5 T MRIs offer diagnostic images that can make an exceptional difference in treatment. It is perfect for visualizing the brain or abdomen and accommodating patients with implanted devices or other metal in their body.



MRI machines are helpful in capturing images that can help make an accurate diagnosis and provide effective treatment. It comes in various types. When deciding which one is right for your medical imaging center, consider those listed above and think about each of its pros and cons. Don’t forget to reach out only from a reputable source for medical imaging parts and services.

At DirectMed Parts, we accurately and quickly deliver high-quality CT and MRI parts. We also offer MRI coil repair and other technical support solutions for your convenience. Browse our inventory today!

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