Lumbar MRI Image Quality

Case Study Summary:   While optimizing for Lumbar MRI Image Quality, MRI Optimize Consultants created a reduction in exam time by 14% (fourteen percent) for this one exam at this site. The reduction in Lumbar MRI exam time ultimately condensed the annual total lumbar mri study time by almost one week of operational MRI time per year!  This was the summary for just one type of common MRI exam.

Below are the results of the improved lumbar MRI case study.  The full results of this improved lumbar MRI study resulted in time savings, staff savings, energy savings in operational time and revenue gain.


Here is what we did:


The typical study included the following sequences:

1) the localizer scout

2) Sagittal T2 weighted series

3) Sagittal T1 weighted series

4) Sagittal STIR series

5) Axial T2 upper slab

6) Axial T2 lower slab

We optimized time after time, the image quality of each mri sequence, by testing the physics parameters time after time on volunteers and patients.

lumbar mri image quality improved-case-study-Lsp-T2

The new T2 sagittal sequence is 48 seconds faster.


Building upon our previously tested and built sequences, we continually optimized the sequences to maximize the image quality.

lumbar mri image quality improved-case-study-Lsp-T1

The new T1 sagittal sequence is 54 seconds faster



lumbar mri image quality improved-case-study-Lsp-Stir

The new Stir sagittal sequence is 26 seconds faster.


lumbar mri image quality improved-case-study-Lsp-t2-axial

The new T2 axial sequences are 25 seconds faster each, this was run on an upper and lower slab separately.

The time saved on each exam calculated to be 14% (fourteen percent).


The actual time of MRI protocol comparisons before and after MRI Optimize Consultants worked on the sequences. The final time savings was 14% on each MRI lumbar spine done which calculated out further below.






When the total sum number of lumbar spines were added together that were done for the past year, around 1014 (one thousand fourteen), we calculated the total actual time savings, and factored the minutes into hours, and the hours into shifts.  Since the site averages ten hour shifts daily for their MRI systems, this calculated out to almost one full week of operational savings on just the improved lumbar MRI scans alone.


Here is the math below to prove what we saved on the MRI lumbar spines alone:

1) Old MRI Lumbar Study equated to seconds took 20:31 = 60 x 20  (+31) = 1231 seconds of scanning time for the old study

2) New MRI Lumbar Study equated to seconds took 17:39 = 60 x 17 (+39) = 1059 seconds of scanning time for the new study

3) 1059 /1231 = 0.860 or a difference of 14% faster

4) 1231 – 1059 = 172 seconds total difference per MRI Lumbar scan.

5) Multiply the seconds by 1014 MRI lumbar spine cases and the new number is 174408 total seconds.

6) Divide the 174408 by 60 seconds to break down into minutes, and this becomes 2906.8.

7) Divide the 2906.8 by 60 minutes to become hours and this becomes 48.44 hours.

8) Divide this into ten hours shifts, and this becomes four full days of ten hour shifts, plus one day of almost a nine hour shift.

Case Study Conclusion:

1) The site received a reduced scan time on the most popular exam ordered, the MRI Lumbar Spine.

2) Through optimizing the Lumbar MRI Image Quality, the site also received significantly improved image quality to compete with the local 3T that had been stealing some business.

3) The time savings created almost one full week of operational open time when the yearly studies were added up and calculated.

4) This savings could result in reduced staff overtime.

5) The savings could also result in a reduced power consumption savings in operational time.

Contact Us Here




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *