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The FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI is not just for claustrophobic patients.

Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly positive responses from patients to the extraordinary patient-friendly environment of the scanner, especially claustrophobic and very large patients, can overshadow the scanner’s most important feature – Multi-Position MRI imaging.

The UPRIGHT® MRI is the only MRI scanner than can scan patients in any position, including sitting, standing, bending (for flexion and extension) or lying down. This unmatched feature is made possible by the scanner’s unique magnet configuration. With the opposing magnetic poles oriented vertically, the generous space between them accommodates a special motorized patient bed that can rotate the patient from recumbent to upright.

Dramatically Different From All Other MRIs

The magnetic field strength of the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI is 0.6 Tesla. At 0.6 Tesla, it is categorized as a “Mid-Field” MRI. Most “Open” MRIs (all of them recumbent-only scanners) operate at 0.3 Tesla.

Many equate magnetic field strength to image quality – the higher the field, the better the image. All other things being equal, that is a fair statement. In fact, however, all other things are not equal, meaning that in comparing one MRI to another, field strength is only half of the story.

The magnetic configuration of the UPRIGHT® MRI is dramatically different from all other MRIs, both High-Field MRIs and so-called “Open” MRIs. As a result, the UPRIGHT® MRI is able to use both solenoid and planar RF receiver coils. No other MRI can do this.

MRI Comparison Chart

This explains why the UPRIGHT® MRI’s 0.6 Tesla images are competitive with 1.5 Tesla High-Field MRI images. Here is the explanation of why the magnet configuration of the UPRIGHT® MRI is advantageous:

A Fundamental Principle of MRI:

The RF receiver coil achieves maximum sensitivity when its axis of symmetry (yellow arrow) is perpendicular (90 ) to the direction of the magnetic field (green arrows).

coils axis of symmetry chart

The UPRIGHT® MRI has a unique magnet design, which allows it to employ this principle in two ways. The patient is positioned between two vertical poles so that the magnetic field transverses the body in the left-right direction (green arrows) This unique design allows both flat planar and solenoid (“wrap- around”) coils to be used separately or in combination (in quadrature).

The UPRIGHT® MRI Can Use Flat Planar Coils (just like High-Field MRIs) :

coils axis of symmetry chart
planar coil illustration
A flat planar coil is used for a lumbar spine scan.

The red circle represents a flat planar coil.

A flat planar coil is used for a lumbar spine scan.

The UPRIGHT® MRI Can Use Solenoid (“Wrap-Around") Coils (which High-Field MRIs can’t):

A solenoid (wrap-around) coil is used for a cervical spine scan coils axis of symmetry chart

A solenoid (“wrap-around”) coil is used for a cervical spine scan.


Advantages of The Fonar Upright® Multi-Position™ MRI

Symptom–Specific Positional Scanning

Symptom-Specicif Positional ScanningOnly the FONAR UPRIGHT® Multi-Position™ MRI can scan patients in the positions in which they experience problems —sitting, standing, bending, leaning, as well as lying down. All other MRIs can only scan patients lying down. The UPRIGHT® MRI enables the patient to place himself in the position that generates the pain so that images can be acquired in that very position. Correctly identifying the pain-generating pathology can markedly improve patient surgical outcomes. In addition, it enables the surgeon to see all the pathology he has to address, not just the single-position, non-weight-bearing image provided by the conventional MRI. This enables the surgeon to see the full extent to which the disk herniation increases when the patient flexes or extends, or the extent to which the patient's vertebra is sliding back and forth with body position.

Scanning With the Weight of The Body on the Spine and Other Joints

The UPRIGHT® MRI allows all parts of the body to be imaged with the normal weight of the body on the spine and other joints—an advantage that can lead to a more accurate diagnosis. Imaging the spine when it is fully loaded with the weight of the body, as compared to unloaded in a conventional lie–down MRI, is critical to an accurate diagnosis. As you can see from case studies, the source of back problems can be “missed” when the spine is not bearing the weight of the body and not imaged in the positions the spine normally occupies.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow (CSF) Studies (Works-in-Progress)

Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow (CSF) StudiesThe UPRIGHT® MRI is able to visualize and identify the dynamic obstructions of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Such obstructions may be playing a role in the genesis of multiple sclerosis. Visualization of a causative CSF flow obstruction and a careful image analysis of it could lead to treatments or surgical remedies that might be helpful to overcome this pathology.

UPRIGHT® MRI technology is particularly potent in this context, as it provides upright, multi-position images of the fully-weight-loaded cervical spine as well as multi-position "movies” of the CSF surrounding the spinal cord. “Movies” showing spinal fluid moving in and out of the upright spinal canal in all of its normal upright body positions (as well as recumbent) and into the brain can provide critical diagnostic information.

Correlated Slice Protocol (CSP)

CSP (correlated slice protocol) technology enables the reading radiologist to view a side-by-side comparison of each slice of the scan in all of the positions the slice occupies (including recumbent). CSP technology enables the radiologist to report to the surgeon precisely which image slices were the most problematic for the patient throughout the patient's full range of motion. The surgeon can view them and choose the best surgical procedure for fully restoring a pain-free normal range of motion to the patient’s spine.

Correlated Slice Protocol (CSP)

Whiplash Injuries

There are a growing number of patients who are sustaining dislocations of the cervical spine from automobile collision whiplash injuries of the head and neck. The UPRIGHT® MRI is needed to assess the extent to which the brain has been dislocated [descent of the tonsils of the cerebellum] into the opening in the bottom of the skull (foramen magnum). This critical assessment of the extent of brain herniation into the opening at the base of the skull (cerebellar tonsil ectopia, or CTE) can only be determined with the patient in the upright position so that the surgical repair of this herniation and the patient's "drop attacks" can be eliminated.

Special Patient Needs

Over-weight PatientSome patients are unable to lie down for an MRI exam, including kyphotic patients or hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure. In the absence of UPRIGHT® MRI, these patients would be unable to receive the MRI examinations they need.

The UPRIGHT® MRI routinely accommodates large patients, many who simply did not fit into any other MRI. Our patient bed can handle patients weighing up to 500 pounds.




Scoliosis Screening with Upright MRIPatients with scoliosis, which most commonly arises for the first time in young adolescent girls, have been reported by the National Cancer Institute to experience a 70% higher incidence of breast cancer as adults than the non-scoliotic population.1 The increased incidence is attributed to the multiple annual chest x-rays (2-3 times per year) needed to monitor the child's scoliosis until adulthood in order to assure satisfactory treatment. The UPRIGHT® MRI provides the same necessary vertebral angle ("Cobb angle") measurements as the x-ray (plus the needed measurements of vertebra rotation not supplied by x-ray), thereby avoiding routine x-ray exposure.

1“Breast Cancer Mortality After Diagnostic Radiography: Findings from the U.S. Scoliosis Cohort Study,” Michele Morin Doody, John E. Lonstein, Marilyn Stovall, David G. Hacker, Nicolas Luckyanov, and Charles E. Land, Spine, Aug. 15, 2000, Vol. 25, No. 16.

Pelvic Floor Dystrophy (PFD)

MRI of Pelvic Floor Dystrophy (PFD)Women patients, as a result of the inherent trauma of childbirth to their pelvic floor anatomy, will commonly suffer the consequences of PFD later in life. The symptoms of PFD are cystic prolapsed ("falling urinary bladder") and its chronic cystitis symptoms of urinary frequency, burning on urination, fever, and if unaddressed, chronic kidney inflammation (pyelonephritis). The patient must be upright to see it. It commonly returns to its normal position when the patient is recumbent and therefore is not diagnosed by the patient's physician who examines her in the recumbent position. It affects 10 million women. The UPRIGHT® MRI readily visualizes the fallen bladder when these patients are upright, so that the surgeon has full image visualization of the anatomy that has to be repaired.



Unique Applications
Rotates patients from recumbent to upright
Comparative scans in both Upright and Recumbent positions
Flexion, Extension, Standing, Sitting and Lateral Bending positions
Scans patients in their position of symptoms
Ideal for anxious and claustrophobic patients
The only choice for patients that cannot lie down
Field Strength
0.6 Tesla
Magnet Type
Iron-frame Electromagnet
Cooling System Type
Water (closed-loop); No Cryogens
Field Orientation
Horizontal, transverse to the patient
Front-Open and Top-Open
Patient Gap Dimensions
18 inches (46cm) pole-to-pole
Patient Comfort
Upright/Sitting patient faces out and can watch a large flat-screen TV with an unobstructed view
Patient Bed
Positioning Capabilities
Translate, Elevate & Angulate
Rotates patient from recumbent to upright
Patient Stabilization
Table tilts backward at 7 degrees to reduce patient motion
Patient immobilization fixtures
VersaRest™ trans-polar stabilization bars
RF Receiver Coil Placement
RF coils mount easily to movable fixtures
Patient Weight Limit
500 lbs.
Radiofrequency System
Transmitter Configuration
Dedicated, Circularly Polarized, Planar
Receiver Configuration
Standard Package
High-Performance Spine & Body Wide Belts (45", 55", 65")
Flexible Cervical
Signal-Plus Universal Coils
Solenoid Wrist
Advanced Coil Package
Quadrature Planar Coil and fixture
[Note that the Upright MRI is dramatically different than an Open MRI as if utilizes planar (flat) coils to image the spine, just like a high-field MRI]
Quadrature Head Coil
Quadrature T-L (Thoracic-Lumbar) Coil
Quadrature Knee Coil
Phased Array
Shoulder (with Immobilization Fixture)
Gradient System
Bi-planar self-shielding
Maximum Strength (mT/m)
Slew Rate (T/m/s)
Minimum Slice Thickness
2.0 mm (2DFT)
0.8 mm (3DFT)
Minimum Field-of-View
6.0 cm
Imaging Techniques
Pulse Sequences
Spin Echo (SE)
Multi-echo spin echo (MSE)
Dual bandwidth Double-echo (DE)
Fast Spin Echo (FSE)
Inversion Recovery Spin Echo (IRSE)
Inversion Recovery FSE (IRFSE): STIR, FLAIR
Driven Equilibrium FSE (DEFSE)
Driven Equilibrium IRFSE (DEIRFSE)
Single-shot FSE (SSFSE)
Gradient Echo (GRE):
Fat/Water in phase
Fat/Water out-of-phase
Multi-echo GRE (Fat/Water in/out/in phase)
Gradient Spoiled GRE
Steady-State GRE:
RF Spoiled GRE, Steady-State Rephased GRE
MR Angiography:
2D-TOF and 3-D-TOF
Ramped RF
Sequence Controls
Fast Spin Echo
Driven Equilibrium
Echo Train Length, Echo Offset, Echo Spacing
Gradient Echo
Flip Angle
Steady-State, RF Spoiling, Rephased
Magnetization transfer (MT)
Direction of flow saturation
Scan orientations
Multi-Angle Oblique (MAO™), Dual-Axis Oblique
Preparation Pulses
Presaturation pulses
Magnetization transfer (MT)
Frequency Selective Saturation (e.g. fat, water, silicone)
Diffusion-Weighted (DWI)
Test Bolus
Breathhold, Fluorscopic
Fast Fourier Transform (DFT): 2DFT, 3DFT
Partial (Half) Fourier
ZIP interpolation
2-point Dixon, 3-point Dixon for Fat Suppression
Firing Order
Cross-talk minimization
Interleaved by Subscan (e.g. breathhold)
Data Acquisition
Rectangular FOV (continuously variable phase sampling ratio)
Multiple Sub-Scanning
Centric Phase Encoding
Flow Compensation, Ramped RF
Low Bandwidth, Multi-bandwidth
Continuously Variable Display Matrix
Swap Frequency and Phase
Repeat and Replace Slices
Continuous Scan Mode, Breath-hold Imaging, Kinematic Mode
Prescan Indicators
Relative resolution
Absolute resolution (frequency and phase)
MIP with rotate, tumble, pan
Image enhancement
Bright Balance™
Display and Analysis
Windowing, ROI, zoom, pan
Cursors, profiles, derivatives, mean, standard deviation
Image subtraction
SNR measurements
Image Viewing Software (IVS) for referring physiciand to view their patients' scans on a CD


Magnet Room  
Minimum Installed Area
504 sq. feet [28' x 18'] (46.8 sq. meters)
Ceiling Height Required
11 feet (3.35 meters)
Magnet Specification  
245,000 lbs. (111,130 kg) which equals = 122.5 US tons (111.1 Metric tons)
Assembled in pieces on-site
Frame Outer Dimensions
102 in. (259cm) Width x 107 in.(272 cm) Height x 176 in. (447 cm) Depth
Power Requirements
480 Volt, 3-phase, 125 Amps
Power Consumption
100 KVA, The magnet is turned off when not in use
Magnet Room Heat Load
30,000 BTU
Equipment Room  
Minimum Installed Area
240 sq. feet [12' x 20'] (21 sq. meters)
Heat Load
48,000 BTU
System Racks  
Power Requirements
120/208 Volt, 3-phase, 200 Amps
Power Consumption
20 KVA
Closed-Loop Air-Cooled Water Chiller (included with system)  
30 tons
Power Requirements
480 Volt, 3-phase, 100 Amps
Power Consumption
47 KVA (when running)


To order the UPRIGHT® MRI, call Fonar Corporation at 631-694-2929 ext.306 or email

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