MRI is a painless way to look inside the body without using X-rays. Instead, it uses a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to take detailed pictures inside the human body. The images produced can help your doctor detect and define the differences between healthy and diseased tissue. MRIs can be performed at any Prisma Health facility with the exception of the orthopedic inpatient hospital Patewood B, and the Vascular Alliance at Patewood Campus, Building C.


Magnetic resonance angiography – also called a magnetic resonance angiogram or MRAD is a type of MRI that looks specifically at the body’s blood vessels. Unlike a traditional angiogram, which requires inserting a catheter into the body, magnetic resonance angiography is a far less invasive and less painful procedure.


The most common MRI machine in clinical use is the 1.5 T (tesla) unit.  The T refers to tesla which is a measure of the field strength of the The 3T MRI produces a higher spatial resolution and image contrast without injection of contrast medium, resulting in better visualization of anatomic structures. Subtle abnormalities can more easily be detected. The image can be so good that the radiologist may not require intravenous gadolinium or intra-articular contrast medium administration.

Therefore, if 1.5 T is the most commonly used and 3T is the newest approved, is the new approved 3T machine actually improved? It depends. The 3T is faster, meaning greater patient tolerance. As a result, there are fewer artifacts because of motion. It is particularly important when studying children, where a request to remain motionless may go unheeded unless they receive medication. So, another advantage may be less use of sedation.

Wide-bore MRI

A new, state-of-the-art 1.5T Philips Ingenia MRI system is now at North Greenville Hospital (NGH) – the first of its kind at Prisma Health.

This MRI features a wide bore 70 centimeter magnet to provide better patient comfort while reducing patient anxiety, as compared to smaller, traditional MRI bore widths. Reduced patient anxiety lessens the need for sedation for patients. The larger opening dramatically reduces the need for patients to be scheduled exclusively at open-air MRI systems. While patients up to 550 pounds can be accommodated with this unit, the average weight is 150-200 pounds and ideal for athletes with broad shoulders.

Digital technology and high image resolution provide superior MR imaging. Motion-control software reduces image degradation due to patient breathing. Upgraded MARS software reduces metal artifacts. All these provide superb image quality.

An in-house MRI suite at NGH with large floor-to-ceiling windows allows relaxing, natural light into the scan room. Headphones are provided to each patient along with their choice of music to listen to during the scan. Private dressing room with secured storage areas for personal belongings. The 830 square-foot MRI suite accommodates both inpatients and outpatients with ample space.

Studies offered include neuro exams, MR Angiography (including carotids, renals, etc.), and scans of the abdomen and pelvis, dynamic studies and MSK. MR elastography is also underway.

For more information, call 864-455-9244.