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ESAOTE C Scan MRI Scanner

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The Esaote C Scan, sold as the Artoscan-C in some countries, is the successor to the Artoscan line, and includes several improvements on the previous generation. It's a 0.18 Tesla permanent magnet with a spherical field of view of 120 mm (4.7 inches), which is some exams is a limiting factor. It was sold in the US by Esaote, Hologic, and GE. It is no longer sold new in the US.

The machines can be accredited by the ACR and the ICAMRL.

The machines tend to be reliable and the user software is relatively straightforward to run. Because of the low field strength, the exam times are on the long side. It can be sited in most cases (but not all) without using external room shielding, and requires about 120 square feet. The system weighs very close to 2000 pounds. It needs only a standard 110 volt outlet for power, and it requires temperature control in the magnet room 24/7, although it does not put off any significant heat.

The image quality is surprisingly good. Esaote includes image enhancement software in the machine (which is by default turned on) that improves the apparent signal/noise of the images.

The system is available with either analog or digital RF subsystems and gradients.

Some of the older magnets have had a problem with the shimming magnets degrading. This can make the magnet impossible to shim at the customer's site and therefore impossible to meet manufacturer's specifications.

There are some patients who can't fit their knee into the machine. Although Esaote states that the MRI can scan elbows, most people can't fit their elbow in the machine.

Customers or service compnaies who are thinking about installing a C Scan should make certain that a thorough site evaluation is done prior to the deal being finalized. Because the C Scan uses copper shielding collars instead of a shielded room for RF shielding, it's more vulnerable to environmental noise than MRIs with a shielded room. The RF shielding collars do wear out and are relatively pricey from the manufacturer but are available from other sources.

Independent service on these machines is avaiable world wide. Several hundred have been sold.

 

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