The Queen Square Imaging Centre looks forward to developing new neuroimaging capabilities following significant MRI and CT upgrade

The Queen Square Imaging Centre, a non-for-profit trading arm of the University College London Hospitals Charity, has upgraded its specialist neuroimaging capabilities with the replacement of its 1.5T Optima MR450 MRI scanner to a state-of-the-art SIGNA Premier XT from GE Healthcare.

The SIGNA Premier XT is an ultra-high performance, 70cm bore, 3.0T system built with power, intelligence, and the patient experience in mind. Designed for research and beyond, SIGNA Premier XT delivers a new imaging experience that differentiates Queen Square’s services through technology, clinical capability, and patient comfort

This MRI fleet upgrade formed a critical part of a major refurbishment of the renowned neuroimaging facility which has been providing scans to private and NHS patients in Queen Square since 1985.  During this time, the company has donated almost £40million which have been channelled directly back into NHS services within the UCLH group of hospitals.

Jodee Cooper , chief executive officer commented: “We are delighted to have installed the new SIGNA Premier XT scanner here at Queen Square Imaging Centre.  The images are exceptional, and the wide bore and AIR coils are fantastic for our patients.  The GE team were amazing, installation went well and applications and support has been so professional.  We have had a long-standing relationship with GE; long may it continue.”

The Queen Square new SIGNA Premier XT is clearly designed with patient comfort at its core:  two light 30ch AA AIR coils help inducing a sense of calm with its blanket-like, hyper-flexible design.  Patients have noticed this new features, commenting how it has improved their in-bore experience, making it more comfortable and less stressful. The 30ch AA AIR coil also provides a coverage of 60cm x 65cm so allowing for larger field of view imaging in one sequence , potentially reducing the time in the scanner for the claustrophobic patients.

Operations manager Peter Sutton said: “Our previous 1.5T MR450 from GE was a true workhorse and has enabled us to offer a reliable and high-quality advanced neuroimaging service to our patients for many years.  Its replacement was always going to have to be something truly special to compete. However, demand for our service has grown and the installation of this new 3T MRI scanner, alongside our new GE Revolution Evo CT, will allow us to continue to meet even the highest expectations of specialist referrers and patients well into the future.  We have already seen significantly improved image quality and the patient experience is noticeably enhanced through the various patient comfort features of the wide-bore system.”

GE Healthcare AIR coil

The SIGNA Premier XT is delivered with SuperG Gradient Amplifier Technology and an outstanding gradient performance of 80 mT/m amplitude & 200 T/m/s slew rate.

This 146ch system is equipped with a  unique AIR Coil suite, that comprises a 48ch AIR Head Coil, two 30ch AA AIR coils and a 60ch PA AIR coil embedded in the patient table, giving a new meaning to high density coils and high channel count.

The 48ch AIR Head Coil (developed in collaboration with USA National Football League) leverages this AIR Technology to deliver phenomenal performance for every patient. Its fit-adaptable design adjusts to 99.99% patient sizes(1), has a dedicated EEG cable exit and because its topology is designed to optimise parallel imaging and HyperBand acceleration performance, it improves signal quality as well. Queen Square clinical  team is seeing the benefits of this innovative gradient coil technology in their neuroimaging, especially in the areas of Multi-shell DTI and high-resolution fMRI .

Alison Kenny , MR modality manager for UK and Ireland commented “We are really pleased to bring the first London based 3T Premier  XT with the latest AIR Technology, to the Queen Square Imaging Centre. It’s great to hear the collaboration between us and the centre has been well received. I am looking forward to supporting Queen Square for the life of this system and continuing this great collaboration.”

Lead picture: senior neuroradiographer Carl Roberts, assistant practitioner Aysha McCall, senior neuroradiographers Carol McGann and Trent Sparks and operations manager Peter Sutton.

1) From the GE Signa Premier Brochure (JB15267XX)

This news story has been sponsored by the companies concerned and does not represent the views or opinions of RAD Magazine.

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