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Wide-Opening (Wide-Bore) MRI

If you're claustrophobic, our wide-opening MRI scanners offer more space so you can feel more at ease.

What Is a Wide-Opening MRI Scan?

MRI is a painless, non-invasive test that uses magnetic waves to take pictures of body parts, organs, and tissues from all angles.

Since it takes fast, precise 2- and 3D pictures, doctors can see inside of the body from head to toe. This helps them make the proper diagnosis quickly.

At UPMC Imaging Services, our wide-opening MRI machines:

  • Offer the same tests as a standard MRI scanner without putting you in a narrow cylinder.
  • Are open on the ends and larger than a standard MRI scanner.
  • Let you have visual — and sometimes physical — contact with your loved ones and our staff during your scan.

We also offer a reduced-length scanner so that your head can remain outside during some tests.

Our open MRI may be suitable for:

  • Kids.
  • Advanced-age adults.
  • Clinically obese people.
  • People suffering from sports injuries.
  • People who fear enclosed spaces.

Find an imaging location near you


Benefits of Wide-Opening MRI Versus Standard MRI

Wide-opening MRI scanners offer more space and comfort than standard MRI scanners.

Extra-wide openings and more space

Wide-opening MRI scanners:

  • Offer nearly a half foot more space, providing room for lying on your side or raising your knees.
  • Are perfect for people with large or broad frames and those with claustrophobia.
  • Give you more room, providing a more comfortable and relaxing test.

The same clear, precise images as closed MRI

  • Wide-opening MRI offers the same advanced technology and clear imaging results as standard MRI scanners.
  • High-res pictures can lead to a more precise diagnosis.

What to Expect During Your Wide-Opening MRI Test at UPMC

MRI scans require you to stay very still, so the pictures aren't blurry.

Depending on your condition, you may have a device to track your pulse, heart rate, and breathing during the scan.

If you're having an MRI with contrast dye, the imaging tech will:

  • Place a small IV needle into a vein in your hand or arm before you slide into the extra-wide open MRI scanner.
  • Give you a saline drip to prevent clotting.
  • Inject the dye. Some may have an allergic reaction to the dye, but this is rare.

Next, the tech will leave the room and:

  • Use an intercom to give you directions, such as holding your breath. You can talk to them as well.
  • Take the pictures. You'll hear loud clicks. We'll provide ear plugs.
  • Will slide you out of the scanner and remove the IV needle if you had contrast dye.

Your Wide-Opening MRI Test Results

A radiologist studies your high-quality digital MRI scans and sends them to your doctor via our state-of-the-art computer system.

If you ever need your images at a UPMC hospital or office, they can access them any time — day or night.

You can also view your test results at your UPMC patient portal account.

Call your doctor if you have any questions.

Where We Offer Wide-Opening MRI Testing

Ask your doctor about having your wide-opening MRI at a UPMC Imaging Services location.

Many offer same-day, night, and weekend appointments.