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Hawaii’s first 1.5T small animal MRI installed at Oahu’s emergency hospital

Article

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging announced that its 1.5T small animal MRI is now in service at Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center (VERC) in Oahu

A canine is positioned in the small animal MRI by VERC veterinary staff prior to an imaging study. Image provided by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging.

A canine is positioned in the small animal MRI by VERC veterinary staff prior to an imaging study. Image provided by Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging.

Hallmarq’s 1.5T MRI is specifically designed for small animals and is now available at the Hawaii-based Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center (VERC). As of 2018, VERC is a part of the Ethos Veterinary Health network, which is a network of specialty and emergency hospitals with locations throughout the U.S.1 This is the first MRI of its kind in Hawaii, increasing access to advanced imaging and supporting VERC’s neurology service.

VERC is a 24-hour emergency and specialty care hospital that cares for patients on the Oahu Island and throughout the Pacific Rim. “Having the first and only MRI on the island is a huge game changer. Several clients have already traveled from other islands for an MRI,” said Baye Williamson, DVM, DACVIM, veterinary neurologist at VERC.1

The MRI system has a V-shaped patient bed and 1-meter-long V-shaped spine coil and has 16 channels for viewing and scanning. The system also has a built-in radio frequency (RF) shield and veterinary specific MRI coils.1 The coils have a phased array system, in which 2 coils work simultaneously.2 There is a glass hatch and a sliding roller system for access in and out of the bore. The Hallmarq website features an overview video to get a better look at the small animal MRI with real clinical examples of MRI scans used with the Hallmarq system. The website also contains details on the hardware, software, room, and power of the MRI system.2

According to VERC clinicians, having this new MRI machine has helped improve accurate diagnoses for patients since they previously only had access to CT scans to diagnosis neurological conditions. Erika Sox, DVM, DACVIM, VERC associate medical director commented on this issue, saying, “Previously in Hawaii, most patients with neurological conditions would get a CT scan that yields significantly inferior images of these areas of the body and often misses the presence of subtle lesions, making it difficult to accurately diagnose patients with brain and spinal cord abnormalities.”1

Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging is global provider of diagnostic imaging solutions. Since 2000, the company has serviced more than 300,000 animal scans in 25 countries. Hallmarq also has a subscription-based Remote Operation Service (ROS) available for customer support. Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd has offices in the UK and North America.1

References

  1. Hawaii’s first 1.5T small animal MRI installed at Oahu’s veterinary emergency and referral center. News Release. Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd. April 20, 2022.
  2. Hallmarq Veterinary Imaging Ltd. Accessed April 22, 2022. https://hallmarq.net/products-services/small-animal-mri/
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