Silent MRI: A Less Intrusive Diagnostic Scanning Technique

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an essential imaging examination to minimize exposure to ionizing radiation. MR imaging in neurosurgery involves the use of MRI systems, instruments, and accessories in the procedure of neurosurgery. In addition, it is responsible for developing images of the brain to help neurosurgeons gain better quality images while performing surgery.

Currently, patients undergoing MRI have responded with claustrophobia, loud acoustic noise, and length of scan, while some are corrupted beyond use due to motion artifacts and require sedation. The advancements in medical imaging technology provide ease of use and flexibility to the doctors to analyze and interpret the images easily. However, the noise of the scanner may awaken or startle patients (especially children), resulting in motion that severely degrades the quality of the images.

Reducing the acoustic noise level of an MR scan can be a simple way to reduce anxiety and improve the patient experience. The global MR imaging in the neurosurgery market has seen major development with silent MRI in action, such as business expansions, partnerships, collaborations, regulatory and legal activities, funding activities, product launches, and acquisitions and mergers.

Why is acoustic MRI noise harmful?

The MRI technology has helped doctors immensely in getting high-quality images of the brain and other soft tissue organs, but the process is discomforting and anxiety-inducing for patients.

With conventional sequences, the acoustic noise produced is typically around 90–110 dBA which accounts for the sensitivity of the human ear at different frequencies.

Exposure to the loud noise inside the MRI scanner for a longer period creates problems such as temporary hearing loss.

The acoustic noise is an additional confounding sensory stimulus that impacts blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response as a function of both its loudness and duration. The effect of acoustic noise on the BOLD activation appears to vary based on the task performed, and resting state network identification can be impacted by the sparse-sampling technique employed.

Role of MR-Imaging in the Neurosurgery Market

MRI technology is undoubtedly abundant in taking the healthcare sector at an extensive progression. With the help of MRI, surgeons can plan and perform simple and complex neurosurgeries precisely. With robotic-assisted MR imaging, neurological procedures have become more precise, accurate, and fast. These robotic-assisted MR imaging systems help surgeons to perform neurosurgery in less time and with high precision.

The neurosurgery market is driven by factors such as the increasing prevalence of neurological disorders requiring surgical intervention, rising preference for minimally invasive surgeries, growing demand for intraoperative imaging, and technological advancements in the field of robotics and medical imaging.

According to BIS research, the market size of MR imaging in neurosurgery was valued at $88.7 million in 2021 and is anticipated to reach $150.5 million by the end of 2031, registering a CAGR of 5.52% during the forecast period 2022–2031.

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Evolution of Silent MRI

As the name suggests, silent MRI is an innovative technology that reduces acoustic noise and mechanical vibration during MRI by way of gradients that are continuously on. The extremely loud noise can lead patients to hearing impairment, difficulties in sedation, and verbal communication problems.

Earlier, to reduce uncomfortable noise, acoustic dampening materials (sound absorbing rooms and ear plugs) were used, but they also degraded the performance of the MRI machine. While keeping such circumstances into consideration, proprietary technology is being developed known as silent scan for brain imaging, which aims to reduce the noise of the MRI to the level of ambient noise in the room, thus allowing quiet scanning and optimum patient comfort.

Silent scan technology changes the gradient excitation levels, which is directly related to the noise levels. Advanced 3D scanning and reconstruction technique is used to eliminate the acoustic noise. Also, high-fidelity MRI gradient and radio frequency (RF) systems are used that significantly reduce the sound at the source.

The increasing number of neurosurgeries through silent MRI and patient care has been one of the strongest drivers for the adoption of MR imaging systems used in neurosurgery. With silent MRI, it creates no effect on the image quality or time required for scanning as compared to conventional methods.


MR imaging in neurosurgery has great potential, and the market is anticipated to grow during the forecast period owing to the increasing prevalence of neurological disorders requiring surgical intervention, rising preference for minimally invasive surgeries, growing demand for intraoperative imaging, and technological advancements in the field of robotics and medical imaging. BIS Research holds an optimal record in tracking the advancement of the robotics and imaging market and technologies for future applications.

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