News Release

Date: November 18, 2008 

UC San Diego Medical Center-Hillcrest Opens New MRI Suite 

 

After several years of planning and construction, UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest has opened a modern new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) suite.  This is the hospital’s latest step in ensuring that UC San Diego patients have access to cutting-edge technologies that improve patient care and diagnosis. 

William G. Bradley, M.D.

"We've purposefully placed this MRI next to the Medical Center’s Emergency Department in order to further improve our care of stroke patients,” explained William G. Bradley, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Department of Radiology.  “If stroke patients get to the hospital within 90 minutes, we can use MRI to look at different areas of the brain more sensitively than CT, and possibly extend our window of opportunity to start treatment that can prevent further brain damage.  This technology buys us time.”

Magnetic resonance imaging is a safe, noninvasive technology that takes a detailed, two-dimensional picture of the body’s organs and tissues, such as the brain, without inserting instruments.  Radio waves and a powerful magnet linked to a computer are used to create these images which can show the difference between normal and diseased or injured tissue. 

Upon entering the new UCSD Medical Center-Hillcrest MRI suite, patients and visitors will enter a calming atmosphere, decorated with warmly colored photographs of the Slot Canyons of the American Southwest.  These delicately sculptured canyons have vertical walls hundreds of feet deep and only a few feet wide. Yet, when sunlight pours into these sandstone creations, it creates an inviting feeling. 

“We want patients to feel relaxed and calm in this space,” said UC San Diego Medical Center’s Director of Imaging Services, Glen Yoshitake, who worked with a design team to create a healing environment that provides easy patient access.  “This really enhances our services here in Hillcrest.  “Patients who are staying in the hospital will be treated in this new MRI suite which provides easier access and more space.  Walk-in patients will still be seen at the original outpatient MRI site on Dickinson Street, behind the hospital.  And South County residents will no longer have to make the drive to La Jolla.”

Statistics show there are more than 700,000 stroke victims each year in the United States.

“Another key reason for patients to come to UC San Diego for MRI is that their studies are read by subspecialty radiologists.  That means a more accurate diagnosis compared to the more generalized community radiologist.  That, coupled with our ongoing research in MR-guided sonothrombolysis, means we are working on totally revolutionizing stroke treatment within the year,” said Bradley.

For more information on UC San Diego Medical Center’s Radiology Department, log on to:/specialties/radiology

To view Slot Canyon photos, log on to: http://www.americansouthwest.net/slot_canyons/index.html

Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163, kedwards@ucsd.edu