Imaging Center Expands Clinical Capabilities and Delivers Faster, More Comfortable Exams

TUSTIN, Calif.,
May 3, 2005

Leading the open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) market with standard-setting gradient performance, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (TAMS) today announced the installation of the Ultra open-MRI system at Boynton Beach Open Imaging Center in Florida.  With its cryogenless superconducting magnet design, unique gradient field technology, and the industry’s best slew rate, Ultra is one of the most powerful whole body open-MRI systems available today.  The system enables clinicians at Boynton Beach Open Imaging Center to perform faster, higher-resolution imaging and offer advanced imaging techniques using an open-MRI design.

“The Ultra MRI system represents the best of patient-comfort designs without sacrificing performance for advanced clinical studies,” said Anita Bowler, MR product manager, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc.  “With its powerful gradient technology and open design, the Ultra offers clinical capabilities comparable to a high-field MRI system to offer procedures such as True Steady-State Free Precession (SSFP) and Super Fast Advanced Spin Echo (FASE), while accommodating both large and claustrophobic patients.”

“We are impressed with the outstanding performance of the Ultra system.  The system’s gradient technology and slew rate are a quantum leap in open architecture design and image quality.  The greatest benefit of the Ultra is faster imaging time, which translates to improved image quality with less patient motion artifacts,” said Richard Sarner, M.D., medical director and chief medical officer, Florida Open Imaging Centers.  “We’ve also experienced stellar results when performing MRI studies such as post-operative imaging of cervical spinal fusion.  Our clinicians not only are able to visualize the inter-body fusion, but also clearly distinguish each individual screw.  We also are able to accommodate both orthopedic and internal medicine referrals because the Ultra is able to perform advanced applications, such as Steady State Free Precession (SSFP), as well as vascular and MR Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) abdominal imaging.  MRCP in particular was not possible with past open-MRI configurations, but the Ultra is capable of this application.”

“In addition to imaging patients more quickly, the four-post design of the Ultra is the most patient-friendly open-MRI design available with its large side-to-side and top-to-bottom openings.  This is particularly beneficial for large patients and professional athletes, who we scan on a regular basis at our facility,” added Dr. Sarner.

High-performance System Design
Ultra is the most advanced and powerful whole body open-MRI system available with its unique MRI gradient field technology featuring amplitude of 25 mT/m (milli-Tesla per meter) and the industry’s best slew rate of 100 T/m/s (Tesla per meter per second).  As a result, this slew rate allows the Ultra’s gradient speed to be nearly five times faster than current open systems and 250 percent greater than its high-field counterparts. 

At this performance level, the Ultra offers clinical capabilities that are comparable to those of more costly high-field systems, and allows the application of high-field imaging techniques, such as Single-shot Echo-planar Imaging (EPI) Diffusion, True SSFP, SuperFASE and Black Blood MR Angiography.

For more information about the Ultra, TAMS and its wide range of medical imaging products, please visit

About Toshiba

With headquarters in Tustin, Calif., Toshiba America Medical Systems markets, sells, distributes and services diagnostic imaging systems, and coordinates clinical diagnostic imaging research for all modalities in the United States.  Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation, is a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, MRI and information systems.  Toshiba Corporation is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products, and power systems.  Toshiba has approximately 161,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of $53 billion.