MRI is a modern non-invasive method for diagnosing diseases of internal organs and structures. This type of hardware research is based on the use of a magnetic field, under the influence of which water molecules in the cells of the body line up in a certain way. MRI equipment is expensive, and there are several strict requirements for the installation and maintenance of a tomograph.
Closed-ended MRI procedure
The high cost of the study is due to the need to recoup the cost of the clinic to equip the office and provide the most informative scan.
Why is an MRI so expensive?
Magnetic resonance imaging allows you to detect the slightest changes in internal structures, diagnose diseases in the early stages, control the recovery process, and prevent the development of complications. The high price of the service is explained by the need to purchase and install expensive equipment. MRI requires a special room equipped with computers, sophisticated software, tools for injecting contrast solution, etc.
The cost of the examination depends on several factors:
- type of equipment – MRI on a low-field device is cheaper, but the quality of layered photos obtained during scanning on a more powerful device is much higher;
- the location of the clinic – in institutions located in the central regions of St. Petersburg, diagnostic services are more expensive;
- the need to obtain a second opinion, the use of contrast enhancement (increase the cost of MRI), etc.
The clinic performs maintenance of the tomograph (repair, replacement of consumable parts) at its own expense, the warranty period of the device does not exceed 1 year. To provide high-quality diagnostic services, it is necessary to hire qualified radiologists, laboratory assistants and specialists in setting up MRI equipment. These requirements determine the high cost of magnetic resonance imaging.
What is more expensive than MRI or CT and why?
Magnetic resonance imaging visualizes the state of muscle tissue, subcutaneous fat, internal organs, blood vessels, nerve trunks and cerebral substance. CT allows you to evaluate bone structures, cartilage, and the circulatory system. Computed tomography is based on the use of X-rays, which have a radiation load on the body.
MRI image of the pelvic organs of a woman
CT and MRI use high-tech equipment, which is why diagnostic services are expensive. The price of magnetic resonance imaging is higher, but the final amount depends on the area of study, the need for contrast enhancement, etc.
The MRI procedure lasts from 15 to 45 minutes, which entails significant energy costs. The duration of CT does not exceed a quarter of an hour. The cabinet for magnetic resonance examination must be equipped following strict requirements: in a building located away from high-voltage wires, at a certain distance from tram tracks. The room is equipped with protective screens, etc. These limitations increase the cost of MRI relative to the equivalent CT scan.
When it comes to expensive medical procedures, MRI often comes to mind. Indeed, it is this procedure that has a rather high cost compared to other medical studies. MRI scanning technology is not entirely new, but it is a much newer technology than other types of medical scanning such as X-rays. X-rays have been used for diagnostic imaging for over a hundred years, but MRI has only been used since the 1970s.
And if the X-ray procedure is quite affordable today, then the cost of an MRI is often surprising. But there are some very good reasons why this type of diagnostic imaging is more expensive than others. Let’s take a closer look at these reasons.