I went for another MRI on Friday and asked the tech what strength the machine was. I've had 2 previous MRIs on the same machine and was curious. She informed me it is a 1.5 Tesla; and further stated that 3T's are only ever used for research purposes.
I wasn't surprised that the local machine is a 1.5T. I live in a small city several hours away from a major centre. We only got the MRI at our local hospital a couple of years ago. It's not surprising that it's not the most cutting edge of technologies.
But I found it interesting that the tech was so uninformed. As we all in this forum know, 3T's are used as a diagnostic tool, not only in research. I didn't debate this point with her, but it occurred to me that as a person with MS (or even in limbo), that in many ways one becomes more knowledgeable that those who are there to test, diagnose and treat us.
I would have trusted she knew what she was talking about and simply taken her response as fact, had I not learned otherwise from this forum. Actually I probably wouldn't have even known to ask the question in the first place.
I second all that you have said. I have learned so much from this Forum in the past year. Lucky for my doctor I was not as knowledgeable about MS as I am now. I would have had a lot more questions back in 2005 and would have probably really made him flounder.
I have got to say in his defense that he was pretty swift with my dx though. I still don't know what strength the machine was, though.
When I asked my 1st neuro for a 3T , He snapped his head up and said, " You're a tough one . " I just shyly smiled , I learned both things from this forum ( and sooo much more )
When my results were in and he was going over it with me , he said something interesting and odd . That my lesions would probably not have shown up on a 1.5T which the McDonald Criteria is based on . He eventually threw out all of my lesions , so I threw him out ( some more great advise ).
Its amazing how much information we have gotten on this site . I think we would be in deep sh** if it were not for this place .. THANK YOU EVERYONE
I'm glad we can use the forum to share ideas and learn what important questions we need to be asking, but I also think that we need to respect the opinions and training of the professionals trying to help us. (OK, maybe sometimes they don't all deserve it!)
I thought that a 3T machine can demonstrate anatomy with a higher signal-to-noise ratio. So it may be a nicer picture, but it is not more sensitve. Senstivity and resolution are not the same thing. Besides, this is only one of several factors in an MRI exam - others include the technologist, reader, machine and patient.
Personally, I'd rather have a more senstive doctor than a more senstive machine, but I know we are all in different situations. Just my 2 cents.
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