Toshiba's New MRI System Achieves World's Lowest Examination Noise Level|
14 September, 1999
Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today starts marketing a 1.5-tesla superconducting magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI) that offers advanced imaging performance and an enhanced patient environment, including the lowest examination noise level yet achieved. The new EXCELARTTM incorporates Toshiba's newly developed PianissimoTM, a unique mechanism that cuts acoustic sensation of examination noise by 90% and markedly alleviates patient discomfort during scanning. The new system is introduced to the Japanese market today and the first systems will be shipped at the end of October.
Acoustic noise is generated during scanning by the MRI system's gradient coil. Toshiba has cut the noise with two innovative structures that together make up PianissimoTM: "independent suspension" of the coil dampens solid vibration; while "vacuum vessel enclosure" of the coil shields transmission of residual vibration through the air. Together, they provide a dramatic solution to acoustic noise, cutting it by 90%--far surpassing the conventionally accepted limit of 50% in terms of acoustic sensation. Incorporation of PianissimoTM in EXCELARTTM assures it offers the lowest gradient acoustic noise of any MRI.
Further concern for patient comfort can be seen in EXCELARTTM's design, which incorporates a patient bore 65.5 cm in diameter, the largest in the world, ensuring a high level of openness as well as noise reduction.
Background and development aims
Technological advances in recent years have improved MRI image quality, but they have also brought louder noise levels. This can equal the roaring sound immediately underneath elevated railways when a train is passing, or the sound of a jet airplane at takeoff and landing. The need for an acceptable environment for the patient, in terms of noise and comfort, and for even better imaging, combine to make reduced scanning noise a must. Toshiba's new EXCELARTTM addresses all these issues.
2. Pianissimo: innovative acoustic noise reduction mechanism
3. High level of openness: 65.5cm patient bore is the world's largest.
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