Is Going Green Giving Your MRI Scanner Image Artifacts?

Pretty much everyone can agree that using energy more efficiently is a good thing. What some of us differ on is the best way to do it. When it comes to your MRI scanner suite, however, it does seem there's a wrong way and a right way to get the efficiency you're looking for.

Keep reading to find out the do's and don'ts of upgrading the lighting in your MRI scan room.

Picking Lights for MRI scan rooms

The Wrong Way

I received a call this week from a facility that needed the light bulbs changed in their MRI suite. When I mentioned this to the field service engineer (FSE) who handles their maintenance, he cautioned me about which kinds of light bulbs to use.

He said that many sites are swapping their traditional incandescent lights for energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to be more environmentally-friendly and cut costs. That makes sense, right? After all, many of us have done the same thing in our own homes. Unfortunately, what works for us at home is not so good in an MRI suite. CFLs in this setting can cause noise artifacts in an MRI image. He went on to say that, in several recent cases, he has been able to eliminate image artifacts simply by swapping out the CFLs the site had installed.

The Right Way

So, does this mean that MRI users must resign themselves to sticking with their old incandescent bulbs? Not at all! There is a third lighting option that's greener, saves money, and will not cause artifacts in your MRI images: LED bulbs.

LED bulbs generally cost more up front but, over their lifespan, are greener and cheaper than either incandescent or CFL bulbs. They burn longer, use less power, and don't contain mercury (like a CFL).

The Takeaway

If your MRI system is experiencing image artifacts, take a look at which bulbs are installed in your MRI suite. If you have CFLs, the problem could be related. Try swapping them out with incandescent (better) or LED (best) bulbs to solve the issue. If your problem persists, or if you have other questions about MRI service, contact us to learn more.

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Chris Kinnas

Chris Kinnas is a National Service Solutions Manager at Block Imaging. His goal is to see imaging facilities covered by the very best service for maximum equipment uptime. Outside of the office, he is a husband, a father of 4, and an avid Chicago sports fan.