Published on March 01, 2017

New 3 Tesla MRI Improves Imaging, Patient Experience

David Feiock

David A. Feiock, MD

Dr. Feiock graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and his fellowship in musculoskeletal radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

North Kansas City Hospital’s investment in a MAGNETOM Skyra 3T MRI machine brings double the magnetic field strength of the hospital’s 1.5T MRIs. Installation of the strongest MRI machine clinically available is expected to be complete this summer.

Detailed Imaging

For David A. Feiock, MD, medical director of MRI at NKCH, the applications are endless. “It’s not so much that there are only a few specific areas where the 3 T is better for imaging,” Dr. Feiock said. “It’s simply better at doing just about everything.”

Physicians will gain a greater array of high-quality imaging options and several innovative features to accommodate patient comfort needs.

While the hospital’s 1.5 MRIs will remain as vital diagnostic tools, the 3T MRI provides fine, subtle anatomic detail, which is beneficial for small joint and brain imaging studies. For example, when assessing a wrist ligament, the refined imaging detail will help NKCH radiologists more accurately determine whether the ligament is torn so referring physicians can be more confident that their treatment plans are optimal.

More Data

3T MRI provides anatomic detail for brain imaging.

The 3 Tesla MRI provides fine, subtle anatomic
detail, which is beneficial for brain imaging

Making an analogy between MRI magnet strength and number of pixels in a smartphone camera, Dr. Feiock said going from a 1.5 to a 3T MRI is similar to getting a new camera with double the megapixels.

“With more pixels, you gather more data and, thus, produce higher resolution images. That helps us detect subtle pathologies of all kinds,” he said. “It’s a bigger, better camera. In a cardiac MRI where the beating of the heart is a constant or near constant motion, the 3T MRI allows us to image really fast to decrease motion blur.”

Dr. Feiock noted one caveat with 1.5 versus 3T MRIs. Patients with implanted metallic devices of all kinds are generally imaged on 1.5Ts because some metallic devices are not as safe and image artifacts are worse due to the stronger magnetic field of 3Ts.

Increased Patient Comfort

The faster imaging of the increased magnetic field strength allows for shorter scans, making it ideal for individuals with claustrophobia, excessive pain and limited mobility. The 3T’s 70-cm-wide bore magnet is a new generation scanner that can comfortably accommodate obese and claustrophobic patient populations.

Medical Imaging Locations

North Kansas City Hospital
2800 Clay Edwards Drive
North Kansas City, MO 64116


North Kansas City Hospital Pavilion
2790 Clay Edwards Drive
North Kansas City, MO 64116


Medical Imaging
9501 N. Oak Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64155


Tremont Imaging Center
5501 NW 62nd Terrace, Suite 200 
Kansas City, MO 64151