West Suffolk Hospital improves MR diagnoses and expands scope of clinical services


MAGNETOM Aera MR system from Siemens will help handle high patient throughput and increasing levels of demand

West Suffolk Hospital, part of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, has been able to increase the clinical offering its expanding MR department provides to patients through the installation of a new system.

The busy department, which currently examines more than 10,000 patients a year, anticipates the new technology will reduce the number of studies patients have to undergo as a result of more-detailed MR procedures.

Siemens Healthcare’s MAGNETOM Aera MR system was selected by the hospital following a thorough appraisal of three systems, with the Aera’s short wide-bore design acting as an influencing factor in the decision-making process. The hospital, which already uses a MAGNETOM Symphony 1.5T from Siemens, sought a versatile system that could handle high patient throughput and increasing levels of demand. The Aera has now been installed at the hospital, with a Total imaging matrix (Tim) integrated coil technology upgrade to be incorporated later in the year to the Symphony system.

“MR is becoming a modality of choice for many patients and as such we are confident that this installation will play a big role in keeping West Suffolk Hospital at the forefront of imaging,” said Claire Moore, superintendent radiographer at West Suffolk Hospital.

“The wide bore is very important for us. Not only does it mean that patients feel less intimidated, but also that hard to access areas of the body that are usually against the side of the magnet – such as shoulders and wrists – are easier to image due to the larger field of view. With the Aera, image quality is perfect from the middle of the body right to the edge.”

Sign up for your free email newsletter

The MAGNETOM Aera will enable West Suffolk Hospital to enhance its clinical scope to include whole body and small bowel imaging. Hospital staff also believe the Diffusion-Weighted Imaging functionality of the system will serve as an aid to diagnosis, making more complicated scans easier to interpret. The Aera’s excellent image quality and ease-of-use have also been cited as key benefits, with the system providing 48 channels, lightweight coils and DOT technology to give radiographers the flexibility to personalise examinations for patients.