The revolutionary design of the Upright MRI scanner enables patients to simply walk in and be scanned. The Upright MRI allows all parts of the body, particularly the spine and joints, to be imaged in the weight-bearing state.
The scanner is equipped with a unique patient handling system that moves the patient into the magnet and places the anatomy of interest into the centre of the magnetic field. It also can rotate the vertically-orientated patient into a horizontal position (or anywhere in between) so the patient can be scanned lying down as in conventional MRI scanning.
Because the patient is typically upright (either standing or sitting in a special chair) or at say, a 30 degree angle, and has an unrestricted view in front of them, problems with claustrophobia are effectively eliminated. What has also been found is that patients who were not even able to tolerate conventional ‘open’ MR scanners have been scanned successfully and have reported no discomfort in the upright system.
It should come as no surprise that the MR appearances of the spine are not necessarily the same in the upright as in the supine position, because of the weight-bearing state of the former.