The Limits of Short-Bore MRI – What You Need to Know

by | Jan 29, 2021 | MRI

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an ever-evolving technology that develops over time to become more patient-friendly. Getting an MRI is not always the most comfortable experience for most patients—which is why bore size, shorter scans, and noise reduction are important improvements being made for patients to feel more at ease. 

However, this doesn’t mean that the gains in comfort should compromise an MRI scanner’s functionality. Depending on the facility, the MRI will be designed and built with specific MRI parts to accommodate patients with different needs. One such scanner is the short-bore MRI, which has several pros and cons, should you choose to have it at your facility.


The Bore

The bore is a significant part of the MRI, with the surrounding area containing the magnet. Its size is indicative of the magnet’s size and its imaging capabilities. Longer and wider bores will use appropriately sized magnets, while shorter bores have smaller magnets. 

Closed-bore scanners will often affect patients with claustrophobia, preventing them from getting a scan taken due to extreme discomfort and irrational fear of closed space.


Differences Between Standard and Short Bore MRIs

In terms of superior image quality for accurate patient diagnoses, both standard and short bore MRIs produce stellar results. 1.5T short-bore MRI machines are the most-used technology for MRI scanners, while 3T MRIs are considered the most powerful. However, short-bore MRIs typically don’t capture detailed images as well as 3T MRIs, such as when producing brain scans. 

Speedwise, shorter scan times with a short-bore MRI are possible if you can allow minor sacrifices with the image quality. However, technicians and physicians should consider the delays and possible bottlenecks when opting for higher-quality scans. Any delays will affect patient satisfaction, lead to longer wait times, and reduce revenue. 


Advantages of Short Bore MRIs

Short bore MRIs have a bore length of 145 cm, a design that allows more of the patient’s body to stay outside the scanner during the procedure. This is especially helpful for those with claustrophobia. 

Short-bore technology is often considered creating “CT-like comfort” for many patients. Short-bore magnets also reduce the space needed to house an MRI since they have smaller footprints when installed!


Disadvantages of Short Bore MRIs

While short-bore MRIs have distinct advantages, they also have some cons. The most obvious disadvantage is the machine’s limited field of view when scanning, but these are easily remedied with ultra-short magnets that allow for the FOV to be smaller. Performing long bone or T-spine studies may require a second scan to complete the image for the rest of the examined anatomy. 

This is usually the case with taller patients as well. By producing two separate scans instead of a long one, it reduces the machine’s overall throughput. 



Imaging technology continues to cater to patients’ needs better as technology improves. Considering the pros and cons of wide-bore and short-bore MRI machines depending on your patients’ anticipated need is crucial in deciding which investment is most appropriate for your facility. 

If most of your work revolves around cardiac imaging, then short-bore MRIs are suitable for your requirements without any functional downsides. For images of orthopedic cases that will typically need longer scans, the bore may be less confining for patients, who will need to be on the table for longer. Prioritize depending on your needs to give your patients the best experience and most accurate results. 

At DirectMed Parts & Service, we ensure that medical professionals receive CT and MRI parts and coils based on their requirements. We also provide other services as a trusted and knowledgeable partner for medical imaging. If you need MRI coil repairs or new parts, get in touch with us today!

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