New Technology at Trinity

March 5, 2011 10:38 a.m.

Trinity Health System now offers the unique GE Signa HDxt 1.5T MR system – one of the most advanced scanners of its type. A breast Magnetic Resonance Image is a new, powerful weapon in detecting cancer.  A breast MRI is used in conjunction with a mammogram.  Breast MRI allows for a clearer picture of dense breast tissue, tissue surrounding breast implants, and small areas of breast cancer that may not be evident in a mammogram.  The detailed picture a breast MRI provides can help eliminate or confirm the need for a biopsy, and identify additional areas of concern within the breast. 

 According to Keith Murdock, Trinity Spokesman, “Trinity Health System is proud to offer this new technology to the residents of the Upper Ohio Valley .  Breast Cancer cases in the Ohio Valley have been running above state and national averages, and this new diagnostic device will provide for earlier and more effective treatment.” 

With this new digital technology, Trinity can image both breasts in high resolution with a single injection in a single patient visit, perform a bilateral breast exam in both the sagittal and axial planes with the same resolution and scan time as a single-breast MR study, obtain high temporal resolution without sacrificing spatial resolution and use the bilateral breast imaging technique most sensitive to patients’ diagnostic needs. 


The Signa HDxt 1.5T MR system makes the patients’ exams as comfortable and convenient as possible. And it helps give the physician the fast, accurate results he or she need for a confident diagnosis.

 A breast MRI is done on a special piece of equipment that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create highly detailed pictures of breast tissue.  During the exam, which takes about a half hour, the patient lies face down on a padded table with their arms above their head.  Unlike mammography, the breasts are not compressed.  There is little or no discomfort. 

Just before being positioned on the table, a technologist places an IV in the patient’s arm where a small amount of contrast fluid is injected.  This fluid makes the images received by the MRI machine clearer and highlights areas of concern within breast tissue. 

After the MRI exam, the patient is able to return to regular activities, unless their physician indicates otherwise.

Breast MRI is an outstanding tool for many women who are at high-risk for breast cancer. This includes women who have had breast cancer, whose mother or sisters have had breast cancer or who have a genetic predisposition for the disease (BRCA-positive patients). It is also very helpful for women who have had a problematic mammogram or ultrasound, for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need to evaluate surgical options, and for determining the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

 You cannot have a breast MRI if you are pregnant or if you weigh more than 350 pounds. In most cases, you cannot have a breast MRI if you have an implanted device, such as a pacemaker, a defibrillator, aneurysm clips, stents, or tissue expanders.  Also, anyone with metal in the eye – such as shrapnel – cannot have a breast MRI.

 People who are claustrophobic may need to be sedated in order to have a breast MRI. Tell your doctor if being in an enclosed space makes you uncomfortable.


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