SIUH Radiology: Getting the Big Picture

STATEN ISLAND, NY -- Staten Island’s only “High-Field” open MRI has recently been installed at Verrazano Imaging, part of Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH). The MRI unit is one of three new imaging devices at SIUH.

The open MRI offers an unobstructed 270 degree, open-air design that reduces claustrophobia and accommodates larger patients. For added comfort, patients may have a loved one at their side during the exam. Powerful, high-field technology delivers superb image resolution and tissue contrast. 

“Good things come in threes,” said Mark Raden, MD, chairman of Radiology at SIUH. In addition to the new open MRI, the hospital has installed a new High-Field closed MRI and a new low-dose, 320-slice, advanced cardiac and neurologic CT scanner.

“These new devices will have an incredible impact on how we diagnose patients,” said Dr. Raden.

“The open MRI creates higher resolution images and offers greater comfort. This equals less stress and anxiety for our patients and influences diagnoses and outcomes in their care.”

High-Field Open MRI
 The new open MRI is the Island’s first true high-field MRI that is completely open on all sides. What does this mean?

Traditional “closed” MRIs operate at around 1.5 Tesla (T) (magnet field strength) and standard “open” MRI’s operate in .5T ranges. Verrazano’s high-field MRI operates at 1.2T, offering a substantially increase in image quality.

Core Radiology Service
The new 3T closed scanner doubles the resolution of traditional MRI’s.

“This advanced scanner will be extremely beneficial to our neurologists,” said Dr. Raden. “Our physicians will be able to diagnose conditions like Multiple Sclerosis and brain tumors with greater accuracy.”

Scanning For Heart Attack and Trauma
 Rounding out the upgrades, the hospital’s Emergency Room at its North Site has a new, low-dose advanced 320-slice Cardiac / Neurology CT scanner, which performs detailed scans in a little more than a minute, but with much less radiation to the patient. 

“This is an area of medicine where you’re fighting against the clock,” said Dr. Raden. “If a 40-year-old patient came in with chest pain with no cardiac history, they were looking at 3-day hospitalization for observation. Today, we can perform a 320-slice CT scan and potentially send them home same day.”

 Dr. Raden said the scanner is crucial for treating trauma victims because it quickly identifies life-threatening injuries such as head and spine trauma.

“Based on these scans, neurosurgeons can correct spinal injuries and limit additional repeat scans and reduce radiation exposure.” 

Limiting radiation exposure is the core of patient care, and a North Shore-LIJ Health System initiative.

SIUH’s Image Gently Campaign is a low-dose radiologic protocol to limit and reduce exposure during diagnostic procedures. This is especially important for pediatric patients. SIUH offers high-definition, low-dose options for CAT scan, and is the only provider with 24/7 pediatric radiologist coverage. That means, when a child has a procedure performed at the hospital; a specialty trained pediatric radiologist is on-site to review the case at any time.

“We have three dedicated fellowship-trained (accredited) pediatric radiologists, five neuroradiologists and two cardiac radiologists,” said Dr. Raden.

 Since announcing the purchase of 15 low-dose GE CT Scanners in June 2012, the health system has installed three scanners at SIUH’s North and South sites. 

For more information on the services at Verrazano Radiology and SIUH, visit and



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