Friday, June 17, 2011

Loyola Offers Extremity MRI for Leg and Arm Exams

Patients don't have to lie inside enclosed tubes

MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Loyola University Health System now offers a powerful new MRI machine that can scan a leg or an arm without many of the usual inconveniences. Most MRI machines are tubes that are 5- or 6-feet long. Patients lie inside for about 45 minutes. In the extremity MRI, the patient sits in a comfortable reclining chair and inserts his or her arm or leg into the machine. The extremity MRI, available at the new Loyola Center for Health at Burr Ridge, will benefit patients who for various reasons cannot be scanned inside enclosed-tube MRIs. For example, some patients experience mild to extreme feelings of claustrophobia inside MRI tubes. And patients with conditions such as back pain and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease cannot lie flat on their backs. "With this innovative scanner, we can accommodate extremity imaging for patients in a manner that is efficient, comfortable and effective," said Dr. Scott A. Mirowitz, chairman of the Department of Radiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Tim Then of Hinsdale, who needed an MRI after he hurt his elbow doing chin-ups, could not be scanned in a conventional MRI machine because he could not position his arm correctly while lying inside the narrow tube. "It was anatomically impossible," he said. "When I assumed the correct position, it hurt after 5 seconds." But Then said he had no trouble positioning his elbow correctly in Loyola's extremity MRI. "It's a godsend," he said. Michael Mategrano of Chicago recently had an extremity MRI exam at Loyola's Burr Ridge center for a broken wrist. "It was a nice, comfortable chair," he said. "I went to sleep." A patient needs to remain still while undergoing an MRI scan. But some children find it difficult or impossible to lie still inside conventional MRI machines and must be medicated. With the extremity MRI, however, a parent can sit next to the child. The parent can read to or distract the child so the child doesn't squirm. Loyola's extremity MRI is from GE Healthcare and is named the ONI MSK Extreme®. The machine has a magnetic field strength of 1.5 Tesla, making it the most powerful extremity MRI in the Chicago area. A few other extremity MRIs in the Chicago market have strengths of .25 or .35 Tesla. Loyola's machine, with its more powerful 1.5 Tesla magnet, provides a much clearer and more detailed image, said Dr. Laurie Lomasney, medical director of Musculoskeletal Imaging Radiology. "For the right case, we no longer have to sacrifice patient comfort to get a high-quality test," Lomasney said. "We also can possibly accommodate physical disabilities."

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At the heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.