MRI RF Shielding FAQs
DM: “When a customer calls you about a shielding job, what are some of the first questions you ask them?”
MB: “Is this a new MRI installation, or are you replacing an MRI in an existing space? What MRI system have you selected? We also ask other general questions to help understand the scope of the work and help with the planning and installation of the shielding for the new equipment.”
Repair vs. Replace?
2. DM: “How does one determine if an MRI RF Shield needs repairs versus needs replacing?”
MB: “The first consideration is age of the MRI RF Shield and its performance history. If the shield is more than 10 years old, and it has a history of performance issues or water damage, replacement is a good idea. Conducting an RF integrity test will help determine how the current MRI RF enclosure is performing. If the test indicates that the room is not performing to specification, but the location of the RF leaks can be identified, the majority of the time the MRI RF Shielding is repaired and reused. If the leaks cannot be located or the repair cost is too high, a new MRI RF Shield installation is advisable.”
3. DM: “After an MRI RF Shield is complete and the scanner is ramped up, is there preventative maintenance a facility can perform to maximize the MRI Shield’s longevity?”
MB: “Generally, the only preventative maintenance needed would be for the MRI RF door. MRI doors do require periodic cleaning, adjustment and gasket replacement to maintain the specified performance. If the door has an automatic feature that uses compressed air, the air delivery system will require periodic preventative maintenance.”
7T Magnet Shielding
4. DM: “Have advancements in MR technology like 7T scanners impacted the installation of shielding in any way?”
MB: “The MRI Shielding installation technique isn’t impacted much at all. MRI Shielding for a 7T magnet must meet the same performance specification, but at higher frequencies than for 1.5T or 3T scanners. The most significant impact is the need for larger amounts of magnetic steel shielding in addition to the MRI Shielding.”
How to Prepare
5. DM: “Are there aspects of the planning process for a new MRI RF Shield that you wish facilities were better prepared for?”
MB: “Today, most MRI installations include some patient satisfaction elements. These require MRI RF filters and can be problematic if they are not all compatible. My suggestion is to identify the features and options that will be included in the MRI scan room. Next, interview MRI RF Shielding companies early in the design process.
Some shielding companies offer a basic MRI RF Shield only. Other companies, like PDC, offer MRI RF Shielding and patient experience products, including: functional MRI LED lighting, RGB accent lights, image ceilings, in-bore video, audio, automatic MRI doors, glass MRI doors, switchable privacy glass for doors and MRI viewing window and integrated controls. Plus we offer specialty RF filters to ensure everything functions properly without creating EMI interference. All of these features can also be integrated with white functional LED lighting to create one-touch themes. This reduces technologist work flow, while reducing patient anxiety.
If you plan a basic scan room, a basic MRI RF Shield is adequate. However, if you plan to add patient experience products, it’s best to purchase everything from the MRI Shielding company. This ensures single-source responsibility for compliance with RF and EMI requirements.”
6. DM: “Do you have any other shielding wisdom or practical tips that we can share with our readers? ”
MB: “Shielding has always been a critical element of the MRI scan room. Today, with the emphasis on MRI workflow optimization and patient experience, the RF shield and its RF filtering technology are increasingly important in the design process.”
We hope you found this Q&A helpful. Please contact us if you have any other questions, and here, learn more about our 40-year MRI Shielding journey – and how our MRI Shielding can better serve you!
Plus, if you haven’t yet, check out DOTMed’s special MR issue for more helpful news on today’s MR market – including a feature on MRI patient experience solutions!