Editor’s note: This is the first part in a series of blog posts describing how the construction of Cincinnati Children’s new Critical Care Building will affect the MRI services in the Radiology Department. This post describes why the construction may impact our services. The remaining posts will describe what we will be doing to ensure that your child continues to receive the highest quality MRI study. In tomorrow’s post, we will discuss how we will use technology to monitor for changes in the image quality. The remainder of the posts will describe our new imaging location and new services we will be offering. Stay tuned for more information!
The construction of the new Critical Care Building poses a unique challenge to the Department of Radiology. The new building will connect with the north side of the current hospital structure, right next to five of our MRI machines. Unfortunately, in the short term, the construction poses some challenges for our department. This is because in order to create a good quality image of a patient in the MRI machine, we need two things: (1) no motion or vibrations, and (2) a uniform magnetic field. Sophisticated engineering approaches are required to ensure that both requirements are met to produce the highest-quality MR images necessary for your child.
The construction of the Critical Care Building may affect both requirements for good MR image quality. First, as one can well imagine, the movement of a lot of heavy equipment, and the drilling, digging and pounding associated with the construction of a new building wil produce small vibrations. Although these vibrations may perhaps be so small as not to be felt by humans, they may still cause the images to become blurry.
Second, because the new building is directly attached to the old building, the finely tuned magnetic field of the MRI machines may change when the steel beams for the new building are put into place. The movement of the steel beams outside of the building may cause the MRI images to become distorted. Once the new building’s outside wall is attached to the outside wall of the existing building, the MRI systems can be retuned so that the image quality is back to normal.
The potential for the construction to impact the quality of MRI imaging within the Radiology Department at Cincinnati Children’s will be greatest in the fall of this year and extend into the early spring of 2019. Once the building foundation is laid, the construction work will shift from the use of heavy machinery to smaller power tools. At that point, the potential for the construction to affect the image quality of the imaging performed on our MRI scanners will no longer be present.
Contributed by Dr. Samuel Brady and edited by Tony Dandino, (SPEC-MR QUALITY).