Nationwide Children’s Hospital unveils new combined operative and diagnostic MRI suite


As technology continues to change and grow, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is keeping pace by unveiling a new combined operative and diagnostic MRI suite. Unlike a fixed MRI system, this structure offers the versatility of moving between three different rooms, ultimately utilizing the machine for two needs – intraoperative MRI diagnostics and non-operative diagnostic imaging.

This state-of-the-art imaging system is one of six MRI systems at Nationwide Children’s and one of a handful in the U.S. to feature this three-room design. While most MRI systems are limited to one room, this unique imaging system includes a central room for housing the magnet and two adjoining rooms into which the magnet can be transported depending on the need.

The overall design of the suite allows for the magnet to be used in a diagnostic setting as well as during surgery in a neurosurgical operating room. The intraoperative MRI allows neurosurgeons to scan for the presence of remaining tumor during a tumor-removal operation, reducing the chance of leaving a portion of tumor behind and increasing the overall success of the procedure.

"Under normal circumstances, a neurosurgeon may remove as much of a tumor as possible during an operation, then follow-up with a post-operative scan to determine if any of the tumor was left behind," said Corey Raffel, MD, PhD, chief of Neurosurgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and professor and vice chair in the Department of Neurological Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. "This technology allows for fewer, more accurate operations that increase the quality and safety of the care we provide to our patients."

In addition to the ability to use the system during surgery, the new MRI suite is located near the operating room which increases access for the anesthesia team. In most cases, anesthesia is required for a pediatric patient undergoing an MRI scan. Due to the close proximity of the MRI to the operating room, the number of patients who can be seen during an eight-hour period is doubled and this additional system will increase volume capacity by 20 percent.

"The design of this MRI suite is unique, allowing the technology to fully support all of the MRI needs of patients in ways not available in most other children’s hospitals," said William E. Shiels II, DO, chief of Radiology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and clinical professor of Radiology, Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Both radiology and neurosurgery patients will benefit from this new and innovative piece of equipment. As Nationwide Children’s continues to draw patients from across the country, the additional suite will help meet the demand of patients who require MRI diagnostics.