How to Get the Quietest MRI Experience?

Discussion in 'Support' started by another sean, Oct 4, 2018.

    1. Gecko

      Gecko Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acute acoustic trauma (brief exposure to a loud music video)
      Thanks so much, Alan P, for the helpful information!
       
    2. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      So I had 2 additional MRI exams last week.

      1st one on Monday (coccyx) then a 2nd one on Friday (thoracic spine). Both on the latest Canon Orian 1.5T.

      Both with EarSoft FX earplugs carefully deeply inserted + MRI approved earmuffs. 1st one with the head slightly outside the MRI tunnel, 2nd one with the head right in the middle of the tunnel. Both around 15-20 minutes long.

      Like with the 1st one a year ago, I hummed/whispered a melody during the various sequences in order to cover the noise of the machine and relax (since with earplugs, it resonates in your head, so only a whisper is enough). It worked great again. Some sequences are louder and/or longer than others and are still stressful, clear, but I think it is more due to the anxiety and the negative emotion you put behind the context/type of noise than really the noise level itself.

      It was obviously not pleasant, but both MRI exams were fine. No spike or any effect on my tinnitus or hyperacusis.

      So I have been through 3 MRI exams in 1 year. All with Canon Orian and I am now sure MRI exams on that machine are no problem for me.

      I have noise induced tinnitus + mild hyperacusis but I used to have quite severe hyperacusis a few years ago.

      BTW I discussed a long moment with the MRI operator. He is also working on a GE MRI at the local hospital nearby and he confirmed the GE are WAY louder.

      He told me he has worked over the last 10 years on every MRI brand (GE, Siemens, Canon) and the Canon are by far the quietest (and GE the worst in terms of noise). On the Canon Orian he usually does not supply any ear protection to the patients. By the way Canon Medical is apparently no longer supplying earmuffs with the machine since the average sound pressure/level is probably below the regulatory limit. On the GE it is not allowed and he would anyhow NEVER do an MRI exam without giving ear protection to the patient.

      He added that even for them, as operators, it is much more comfortable to work on Canon because it is much more quiet behind the glass wall.

      All in all, it confirmed to me that everytime I need an MRI I should go for the Canon, which is btw already exactly what I am doing.

      So no surprise here.

      Take care.
       
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    3. Sean

      Sean Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01-01-2011
      Just curious, what was the dB level?
       
    4. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      Does anyone have a list of MRI machines that are ordered from the quietest to the loudest? It seems the information is all over the place. And from what I'm reading here, the Canon are the quietest? Are there some Canon models more quieter than others?

      And does anyone know of one in Tennessee, USA?

      Thanks.
       
    5. Brian P

      Brian P Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ménière’s disease
      Just use double protection if you really need an MRI.
       
    6. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      I'm going to take every precaution necessary as I would be in the MRI machine for an hour.

      I'm going to try and find out what MRI machines are the quietest and see if there is one in driving distance. I believe from what I've read that the Canon MRI machines are supposed to be the quietest? Are there certain models that are quieter than others?
       
    7. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      My research says Canon Vantage machines with Pianissimo hardware noise reduction technology (magnets in vacuum chambers) are the quietest. I don't know if any of the many models is quieter than the others.

      George
       
    8. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      Thanks. Is there an easy way to find out what places have these machines? It seems like finding this info is really hard. I guess some people have had luck. I did contact Canon a while back who told me they don't give out that information.
       
    9. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I searched for press releases in my state and found one that way.

      George
       
    10. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      How did you do that? I'm not familiar with searching for "press releases".

      Thanks.
       
    11. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Here is a pdf listing of all the MRI machines in Tennessee.

      https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/hsda/documents/mri-equipment-listing.pdf

      Look for Canon or Toshiba models, I see a handful of them. There are multiple Vantage models that can have Pianissimo hardware noise reduction technology where the magnets are enclosed in vacuum chambers to reduce sound transmission. Examples are Fortian, Galan, Elan, Titan and Orion. There is also Pianissimo software technology which further reduces noise on certain sequences but I would make sure that the machine has the hardware option.

      Please report back on what you learn and experience if you get the scan.

      Good luck,


      George
       
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    12. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      Thanks. I never knew something like that existed.
       
    13. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Neither did I, I just found it. Wish Florida had this resource.

      George
       
    14. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      How can one found out if a certain State has this information? I'm not sure how one would search for this on a State website other than trying random Google searches?

      I'm going to have to do more research on Toshiba vs Canon. Though it looks like from a quick search that maybe these quiet MRI machines started with Toshiba and that they changed their name to Canon?
       
    15. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      The Toshiba line of MRI machines were bought by Canon so they are one and the same. I just searched Canon Toshiba MRI Vantage Tennessee and plowed through a dozen search returns to find that chart.

      I saw a handful of options for you in that chart. Florida where I am from has no such chart that I can find. I only have one in the state of Florida that I have been able to locate.

      George
       
    16. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      I looked through some old notes and found that I wrote that the Canon Vantage Galan 3T is "20% quieter".

      Now I don't know what that is in comparison to as in 20% quieter than a standard MRI machine or if it's 20% quieter compared to other Canon Vantage MRI machines. I think I might have gotten that info from Tinnitus Talk, though not sure.

      Also, I've read that the 3T MRI machines don't just give you a more detailed image, but I believe the scan time is supposed to be faster than compared to a 1.5T MRI machine.

      I'm going to try and see if I can find what MRI machines the neighboring states have. Also, I'll have to see if I can contact the person or whoever at Canon I've read about here to see if he has a list of what Canon MRI machines they have in nearby regions.
       
    17. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I went through the list that I sent you and there are 9 Toshiba/Canon MRI machines listed in Tennessee and a few of them even give the exact names that we should be looking for such as Canon Vantage Titan. Were all 9 of these listings a bust? I doubt that any state will have a better selection resource than Tennessee does, this should make it very easy for you to find one of the lowest loudness choices.

      George
       
    18. GlennS

      GlennS Member Podcast Patron Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Someone should really compile a state-by-state database somehow of recommended MRI locations. I damaged my wrist at the end of August and I really should get an MRI because it's not really getting better and X-rays did not reveal the root problem.
       
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    19. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      I've not had time to check any of those places out yet as I'm chronically ill and am chronically tired (Lyme Disease), but from reading my notes I had been looking at a Vantage Galan 3T as it's supposed to be quieter and shorter duration than the 1.5T models? And I believe it's supposed to be a short bore, which would work better if you have claustrophobia. As I have to be very careful as my tinnitus will get permanently worse even just being exposed to brief loud noises like a drill without wearing hearing protection, etc. It'll even get worse if I accidentally smack my ear. It's scary being in town and some guy blows past you in what sounds like a very loud race car, or an ambulance comes blasting by. I have to plug my ears with my fingers.

      I'm hoping a 3T machine would give better detail than a 1.5T machine at showing a spinal cord injury (self-diagnosed) i.e. a reduction in signal or not, so maybe I can get correctly diagnosed and prove that I'm partially paralyzed. Also, I'll be needing to get my whole spine done, and so a 3T being a shorter duration would probably be better as that scan can easily take an hour. Hopefully I can find one within driving distance as I don't have the funds (on disability) to fly to a place. Am trying to do a telehealth appointment with the Mayo Clinic spine center, and so I'll ask if they have a list of places that have the quiet Vantage series including the Galan 3T.
       
    20. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      @Baker, in one study, 1.5T machines are 18 - 25 dB quieter (depending on the sequence) than 3T machine which is a huge difference as the decibel scale is not linear - a 4X difference in perceived loudness in this case. This data is not Canon or Toshiba specific.

      I have no idea what resources other states provide with regards to listing all of the MRI machines in their state but given your limitations the fact that your state offers a detailed roadmap, you hit the jackpot. My state (Florida) has no such resource or at least not findable on the interweb and I can find almost anything.

      In the summary of the report:

      "The gradient noise level from a 3T MR scanner exceeded the regulatory limit of the equivalent noise level of 99 dB in all pulse sequences. Therefore, the use of proper ear protection devices is essential. Our subjective noise evaluation revealed that the simultaneous use of both earplugs and headphones is recommended during 3T use."

      George
       
    21. lightning
      Amused

      lightning Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Severe tinnitus since Dec 30 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise exposure
      I've spent about 2.5 hours total in a Canon Vantage Galan 3T for brain + full spine scans. It has had zero impact on my tinnitus. A couple key things though.

      The first - be sure you get an MRI on a Canon machine that has the Pianissimo technology.

      The second - learn how to put ear plugs in properly, and practice it beforehand. Bring your own plugs that are rated 33NRR. I've been using Hearos. With my earplugs properly inserted, the noise was very tolerable. I perceived it as quieter than my car ride to get to the hospital even.

      What the MRIs found is a lot scarier than tinnitus though :(
       
    22. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Like the entire tinnitus subject, we are all different and there is no way to know how this will affect any one of us in particular until we do it. The way I see it is that we should at least lower the odds of any permanent damage if a lower noise option is available to us or avoid these scans altogether if not absolutely necessary. I am also talking with my doctor about whether a CT scan can get them what they need.

      George
       
    23. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Just learnt from my rheumatologist yesterday that I have to do another MRI, this time for the cervical spine...

      It will be the 4th in a bit more than one year o_O

      The 4th in a Canon Orian 1.5T...

      The MRI center had a free slot tomorrow so no time to think too much...

      But I am now much less anxious than before since I know where to go and that my ears will be fine.
       
    24. Baker

      Baker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown for 10 years, but later bad from loud fireworks.
      If you don't mind, could you ask them if they are aware of what Canon MRI machines are the quietest? As I know Canon has different models and I can't really find information as to what the differences are as far as the sound level goes. Thanks!
       
    25. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      They won't know.

      People at the MRI center have no clue about the various noise levels within the Canon range.

      As they are also using a GE MRI, they were just able to confirm the Canon is far quieter.

      But frankly speaking, I think the noise level of the various Canon 1.5T currently in the range will be the same as they are using same hardware technology (vacuum) and same software technology (Pianissimo Zen).

      The Local Director for Canon MRI confirmed to me in the past that The Canon Orian has similar noise level as former Toshiba Vantage Titan for example.

      As regards the 3T, there are not many in France but from what I know, higher power often means higher noise level.
       
    26. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      I agree with all of this.

      George
       
    27. Darktale

      Darktale Member

      Location:
      France
      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Accoustic Trauma
      Finally I am a bit more anxious than expected as I have just realized that I won't be able to wear my usual earmuffs on top of my earplugs.

      The 3 previous MRI I always used double protection: Earsoft FX earplugs + special MRI earmuffs.

      But for the cervical MRI they will use another antenna... like the brain MRI headset probably and I won't be able to use my earmuffs... it sucks!

      Hopefully the foam inside the head antenna will play a similar role as my earmuffs and in combination with my earplugs I will be fine...
       
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