Delay of 3T MRI upgrade [01-12-2017]

Posted by Rick Hoge

Dear all,

I have been advised by McGill Facilities that building work required to re-activate our 3T MRI after the upgrade cannot be completed in time for the scheduled in-service date of March 6, 2017.

The work in question is an upgrade to the exterior quench pipes that vent into the Molson Stadium area. These pipes are based on an old design that no longer meets current safety standards, and I was advised by Siemens in November that the factory will no longer permit re-activation of a magnet that does not have an updated quench system.

Because the work to update the quench pipes is exterior to the building, and impacts another McGill facility (the stadium), the process for planning and execution is much more involved than for work taking place entirely within the Neuro. It has thus not been possible to guarantee the work will be completed according to the original schedule, and I am reluctant to deactivate the magnet given this uncertainty.

We are thus delaying ramp-down of the Trio until Friday February 24, so that the upgrade can commence on Monday February 27. Allocating six weeks for upgrade and commissioning, the new projected in-service date becomes April 6, 2017 (one month late). McGill Facilities has assured me that the quench pipe updates can be completed within this revised timeline. Siemens has also acknowledged that the importance of this should have been flagged earlier, and has made numerous concessions to help minimize further cost and delay.

I know how disruptive this is for many of you, and can appreciate the frustration both for those who worked overtime to complete scans prior to the scheduled ramp-down, and for those who are on hold to start new studies after completion of the upgrade. We will re-open an updated booking schedule by the end of this week, for those who can still benefit from the extended availability of the Trio. Those of you who have scheduled scan slots in March will unfortunately have to reschedule these.

I am truly sorry for the inconvenience - we have had to address a number of unexpected functional and safety issues in this project. Upon completion, the 3T suite will benefit from numerous upgrades in addition to the scanner.



Rick Hoge, Ph.D.
Program Director for MRI
McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute
Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurology & Neurosurgery
Associate Member, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
McGill University