Patient movement during magnetic resonance exams can deteriorate image quality and often result in having to repeat the scan. But how significant is the problem? New research suggests patient motion occurs in nearly 20% of MR sequences and may cost health care providers as much as $115,000 per scanner per year in lost revenue. Motion artifacts may be even more prevalent in advanced MR techniques that rely on higher spatial resolution.
“Correcting for motion artifacts can extend the time (and possibly increase patient discomfort) associated with an MR examination, which affects patient and provider time, hospital cost and other resources associated with imaging,” wrote Jalal B. Andre, M.D., a study coauthor.
To get an estimate of the significance of this issue, researchers looked at one week’s worth of MR exams conducted at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. The sample came from April 2014 and included scans from three different scanners. A total of 192 clinical MR exams were included in the study. Scans were reviewed using a five-tier scale to measure the presence of motion artifacts, from “none” to “severe.” Their results were published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
The authors concluded that patient motion is a serious issue and could affect the MR community. According to the study, the findings could prompt the development of more advanced technology and software to correct for patient motion.