Purchasing Used, Pre-Owned, Refurbished MRI Systems: An Overview Purchasing a refurbished MRI, whether a High-Field, an Open MRI, or an Extremity MRI requires a good deal of due diligence on the part of the buyer. The used MRI marketplace on the internet is large and confusing to even the most sophisticated buyer. Like any other complex project, the more research you do upfront, the less hassle you will have in the long run.

Most dealers and brokers of used and refurbished MRI’s do not sell from a large stock or inventory. It is just not cost-effective to move these expensive devices around the country, incurring rigging, shipping and storage costs. Therefore, when you buy a second-hand or pre-owned MRI, you may receive a system direct from the site that is currently using the system, with the dealer acting as a broker, and/or reseller. This is a good opportunity to check the system, judge image quality, see how it has been maintained, and make sure the machine has all the features you require.

Depending on who you purchase the system from, you may end up handling the details of site-planning, inspection, deinstallation, rigging, transportation, reinstallation, calibration and shimming yourself– or you could hire a company that does the job “Turn-Key,” i.e., offers complete project management.

HIGH-FIELD MRI Systems: Buying Used, Pre-Owned, Refurbished Systems

Most High-Field MRI systems require, by virtue of design, a cryogenic magnet. This means that the system uses liquid helium to super-cool the magnet vessel, and that servicing the MRI requires maintenance of a cooling system. This adds a level of complexity and expense to the removal and reinstallation of your used system.

High-Field MRI’s also have more stringent siting requirements, needing additional design elements to properly install and maintain the systems. These factors, and many more, should be considered when thinking about purchasing and reinstalling these systems.

OPEN MRI Systems: Buying Used, Pre-Owned, Refurbished Systems

Open MRI systems are usually the best choice for imaging centers, specialty centers (Orthopedics, Neuro, Rheumatology, etc.) and single physician practices. The reason for the Open MRI’s popularity is its ease of installation, reduction of claustrophobia, and lower cost. There may be some potential sacrifice in image quality compared to a High-Field MRI systems, but for the most part this is insignificant if you purchase a newer Open MRI, and use it mainly for basic imaging studies.

EXTREMITY MRI Systems: Buying Used, Pre-Owned, Refurbished Systems

If space is at a premium, and you do not require whole body or brain studies in your practice, Extremity MRI is the way to go. These systems can be sited with minimal space, and sometimes even without Radio-Frequency Shielding.

To be continued. Look for Part 2 soon...