Looking for a 1.5T GE MRI machine? Great! Now, which model do you choose? What makes the most sense for your MRI project, and your MRI budget?
By now, you’ve probably realized that making sense of the different models offered by each manufacturer can be a daunting task, and GE is certainly no exception. Let’s take a look under the hood and break down the most popular 1.5T GE MRI models, starting with the newest.
GE 1.5T Optima 450W
With a manufacture launch date of 2010, this system is still relatively rare on the secondary market. The 450W features a redesigned magnet (goodbye CXK4) and introduction of the “Optima” name – offered in 1.5T. The “W” in 450W means this is a wide bore offering, with a 70cm bore to accommodate larger patients and/or those who are claustrophobic. This system also features an optical R/F system, “OpTix”, which improves SNR for a clean, crisp image as well as an efficient zero boil-off magnet. The high slew rates and advanced GEM technologies make this an ideal choice for cardiology and neurovascular studies. If you have the budget, this might be worth considering.
GE 1.5T Optima 450
The Optima 450 is the 60cm-bore version of the 450W. The system is a 1.5 HDXT machine upgraded to the current 23.0x software level, coined the “Optima Edition” hence, the new name. The important take-away with this difference is that it will still have the traditional CXK4 magnet of the LX and EXCITE series. Tricky!
GE 1.5T HDXT
Using the CXK4 magnet, this HD, high-field MRI features either the 15x or 16x software. The HDXT is still a higher-end MR, but far more common on the secondary market than the Optima and far more affordable. Many MR systems being sold as “HDXT” are the result of a series of upgrades from an original HD system. Where this is the case, be aware that if you buy a 5-year-old HDXT, the actual magnet could be 2-3 years older.
GE 1.5T HDX
The HDX is one model year below the HDXT and still uses the CXK4. With some electronic and software upgrades, this can become an HDXT (which is common, as mentioned above). 14x software is standard for this MR. Because most of the differences between the HDXT and the HDX are software-related, the price difference will not be extreme – and you’ll still get the advantages of a 16-channel system.
GE 1.5T HDe
This is an unusual build to find in the USA. The HDe is all about saving space. It's GE’s most compact system, reducing space requirements by 30% with a significantly smaller footprint. It's an economical version of the GE 1.5T HD with less expensive parts. However, economy comes with a sacrifice in performance, namely, reduced channel capability and a lower slew rate. If you absolutely need a compact MR imaging solution, this might warrant consideration.
GE 1.5T HD
This is the beginning of true HD imaging for GE. The 1.5T HD represents a step-change from the previous generation and includes a host of upgrades in software and hardware (new HFD gradient cabinet). Upgrading to the HD platform from an older LX system will give you expandability at an affordable price. Remember, you can start with an HD, and then upgrade all the way to an HDXT, and even go further with an upgrade to the 23x “Optima Edition” software/gradients. If you’re just starting in MR imaging and want to minimize upfront costs, this might be the perfect system.
GE 1.5T Excite II
Remember how the Optima 450 (really just an HDXT with 23x software) was transitional to the Optima 450W? Well, here is the same scenario again, but with the Excite II and the LX (although this time there is no design change in the actual magnet). The Excite II features the same ACGD cabinets as the previous LX series, but has a new Linux-based OS which can support 8-channel imaging. Age and availability lower upfront costs, if you don’t absolutely need the latest and greatest.
GE 1.5T LX
Using 9x software and an older Octane computer system, this MR is dated, but still seen on the secondary market. An important factor to consider when looking into this system is that it can only support up to 4 channels. Another consideration should be which gradient cabinet is installed, since either the SGD (oldest) or the ACGD (newer) can be installed with an LX. These systems are equipped with HiSpeed or Echospeed gradients.
GE 1.5T Horizon
These are very old. The Horizon model is easily spotted due to its square magnet design (pre-dates the CXK4). Usually, the secondary market is only interested in these for parts. If you have one, it’s time to upgrade!
1.5T GE MRI Comparison Chart
Click to enlarge the table below for a quick comparison of technical spec across these 1.5T MRI models:
Hopefully, all this information has helped make you a more informed MRI shopper. Even so, there's still a lot to consider and even more to learn. If you have any questions about any of the GE 1.5T systems we talked about here, contact us- we're happy to help.
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