TOSHIBA Top PageTOSHIBA Top Page
Latest releases Search by month Search by subject
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
MRI examination enjoys a number of advantages over other diagnostic imaging equipment, among them radiation-free examination, better detection of lesions and scanning in any slicing direction. However, the strong magnetic field generated during MRI operation produces loud noise--acoustic vibration--which discomforts many patients.

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.

Main features
1. High level diagnostic imaging with a strong 1.5-tesla magnetic field.
EXCELARTTM's static magnetic field offers the maximum intensity acceptable for health insurance coverage in Japan. It incorporates up-to-date, ultra-fast speed-scanning sequences and a wide variety of clinical application software, assuring a high level of performance.

2. Pianissimo: innovative acoustic noise reduction mechanism
"Independent suspension" of the gradient coil cuts transmission of solid vibration while "vacuum vessel enclosure" of the gradient coil shields out transmission of air vibration. Acoustic sensation of noise is reduced by 90%, far surpassing the conventionally accepted level of 50%. EXCELARTTM offers the world's highest level of sound suppression of any MRI.

3. High level of openness: 65.5cm patient bore is the world's largest.

  • Cumulatively, EXPERT's features promote the following pluses during examination.
  • Reduced use of earplugs during scanning, alleviating patient isolation and anxiety. The open structure also helps to reduce apprehension.
  • Less need for sedation of infants and children, done now to prevent them from waking during examinations.
  • Improved patient cooperation with operators, and better examinations.
  • Reduced stress relaxes the patient's heartbeat and breath levels and so decreases the artifacts (false images) they cause. This will improve image quality.
  • Reduced noise allows more accurate imaging of cerebral activity.


Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.

Press Releases Top PageCopyright