Do not compromise your clinical diagnosis when choosing an MRI!

Lower Strength MRI

Texas Health Southlake's Imaging Department's 1.5T High Definition MRI Images

Seeing is believing. Do not compromise quality for a lower price. The images above compare a low strength machine to our 1.5T high-field machine. Two of the biggest factors that contribute to MRI image quality are strength of the magnet and skill of the technologist.

MRI Tesla Field Strength. What is it and what does it mean for image quality and ultimately your clinical diagnosis?

Beware of MRIs with lower magnet or tesla strength (Tesla is a measurement of magnetic field strength). The gold standard of MRI today is a 1.5T (T stands for tesla) strength MRI because it produces extremely clear images for a very accurate diagnosis. A lower-strength MRI produces images where the quality is much lower. You want to take care that you are not compromising your diagnosis when choosing an MRI.

1.5 tesla indicates the field-strength of the magnet used to obtain the images – the higher the field-strength, the more clear or detailed the images. A radiologist is looking to obtain the highest level of clarity for the most accurate diagnosis. Think of a spine injury. Let’s use, for example, a bulging disk. An MRI will show the anatomy of the vertebrae as well as the disks, spinal cord and the spaces between the vertebrae through which nerves pass. With such a complex image, your doctor will want the most clear, distinct picture so they can accurately assess the injury and make the proper diagnosis for treatment. The strength of the magnet is extremely important to achieve this clarity.

Lower strength means a less detailed image. The physician will have a harder time diagnosing the problem if he or she is looking at a low-quality image. These scans often take longer, making the patient more susceptible to movement resulting in reduced image quality. Lower image quality may lead to a longer wait time for the physician to read the scan or even misdiagnoses. Often prior to therapy, the entire scan may need to be redone. This costs you and your insurance company more money and may delay your diagnosis and treatment.

A true open MRI machine (one that is open on three sides) always has a tesla that is lower than 1.5. Patients sacrifice magnet power for a more open machine therefore they sacrifice image quality.

We offer convenient hours to accommodate your busy life.

Outpatient MRI exams are scheduled:
8AM to 10PM Monday - Friday | 8AM to 4PM on Saturday

MRI studies are interpreted by board certified Radiologists. All Radiologic Technologists are Registered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

To view information on our additional imaging services, click here.