Opening of State-of-the-Art Imagining Facility - 3-Tesla MRI Scanner

June, 2012 marked the official opening of the Child & Family Research Imaging Facility at BC Children’s Hospital.The state-of-the-art Facility is one of only a few research-dedicated pediatric MRIs in Canada.

The B.C. mining community’s 2009-2010 Mining for Miracles campaign supported a pediatric imaging facility to house a 3-Tesla MRI scanner. Construction on the facility began in September, 2011 and was officially opened in June of 2012.

The new, state-of-the-art, facility is used to measure brain structure, metabolism and function in healthy and vulnerable infants, children and adolescents to address three key questions:

  • How do brain injuries in early life impact brain development, adaptability and resilience?
  • How does the environment experienced by the fetus, infant and child modify brain development, adaptability and development?
  • How do new therapies and treatment approaches for pediatric brain disorders directly affect brain structure, function and metabolism?

What is a 3-Tesla MRI scanner?

During an MRI scan, strong magnetic fields and pulses of radio waves manipulate the body's natural magnetic, producing images not possible with other diagnostic imaging methods. A Tesla is a unit of measurement for magnets. A 3-Tesla magnet, being the strongest to date, is twice as powerful as its 1.5-Tesla predecessor and produces clearer, more detailed images in less time. Because MRIs do not emit potentially harmful radiation, there are no known health risks.