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December 1984

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Ready Yet for Widespread Clinical Use?

Author Affiliations

Division of Diagnostic Radiology Stanford University Medical Center Stanford, CA 94305

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(12):2338-2340. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350220054011

In the last decade, no new modality has generated the degree of unbridled excitement and enthusiasm in diagnosis imaging as has magnetic resonance. With a unique imaging scheme that uses no ionizing radiation but is based on the already refined computer reconstruction methods of computed tomographic (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has undergone remarkable technologic advances in a few short years. Nearly 20 companies are already manufacturing or planning to produce MRI equipment, and several hundred scanners are expected to be placed in both hospitals and outpatient centers within the next one to two years.

Magnetic resonance is now producing cross-sectional images that rival and, in some cases, surpass the detail and quality obtained by fourth-generation CT scanners. Each month, the radiologic literature abounds with new clinical trials demonstrating the merits of MRI. But with the cost of a magnetic resonance facility (including the scanner, site, and peripheral equipment)