Open MRI Vs Closed MRI

Here it is! The matchup of the ages! The question that keeps fans of good competition up at night. Open MRI versus Closed MRI.

Both approach the MRI game using similar fundamentals- two powerful magnets create a magnetic field, causing the protons in that field (the patient’s body) to align. After they’ve aligned radio waves are sent through certain parts of the body, and a measurement of the time it takes all of the protons to realign is taken. Different tissues in the body will take different amounts of time to return to that aligned formation, and by combining all of this information an image can be constructed. So the big question is, when your health is on the line what team should you be on?

Here’s a quick rundown of our competitors:

Open MRI The young bucks of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Big on space but light on power.

Closed MRI The classic configuration- a tube-like tunnel. If you’re looking for field strength this is your team. With superconducting scanners running at up to 1.5 Telsa’s.

Play By Play


With a range of 0.35 to 1.5 Tesla, Closed MRI has the advantage in field power. With that kind of magnet strength Closed MRI can you get you right in the action. High magnet strength equals high resolution imaging. If you need to view thin slices of the body, small parts of the anatomy, detect early stroke, or find cartilage degeneration in the knee you can only get this from Closed MRI. On the Opposing side, Open MRI’s power ranges from 0.2 to 0.3 Tesla, but if you are looking for motion studies of joints you will only get it from Open MRI.

Conclusion: Team Closed MRI has Open MRI beat in this category.


When it comes down to it the most important aspect of MRI scanning for the patient is usually how long they will have to stay in the machine. People with claustrophobia or larger patients may have a hard time with Closed MRI, but when it comes to speed these types of scanners tend run faster than Open MRI.

Conclusion: If you’re looking the run the magnetic field as quickly as possible count on the Closed MRI to get it done

And the winner is: CLOSED MRI

With the most advanced ACR Accredited MRI in Southwest Florida and a team of professional and highly qualified MRI Technologists we are confident that team NASA MRI can bring home the win. Our Closed MRI is designed by Phillips and provides what everyone looks for in the MRI game- extremely accurate viewing and unparalleled speed. If you have concerns over claustrophobia please notify us beforehand and we administer medication to help with your discomfort. Feel free to contact our Naples MRI Office with any questions, or to set up an appointment.