Loss of BIC 1.5T magnet

Dear all,

Last week the 1.5T MRI scanner underwent a spontaneous quench, with loss of all cryogens and warming of the thermal shield to room temperature. As the cost of recovering from such an event greatly exceeds the value of the scanner and any foreseeable revenues, we must unfortunately announce the end of 1.5T MRI services at the BIC.

I realize that this will be inconvenient for some users, but 1.5T usage has gradually dwindled to very low levels and we have offered the service for as long as was reasonably possible. We are evaluating the possibility of re-deploying the system as a mock MRI scanner in the short term, pending longer-term discussion and planning of future use of the 1.5T scanner bay.

I want to reassure users that the 3T magnet is covered by a service contract that would include repairs in a similar event. The service contract on the 1.5T has been scaled down in recent years and was eventually terminated given low usage of the system and its age (>20 years). We knew that a prohibitively expensive repair would come one day, and the system decided to go out on a very definitive note.

If you are impacted by the termination of 1.5T services and need help adapting, please contact me so we can discuss. Also, it will be helpful to gauge the level of interest in a mock MRI scanner for training participants in behavioural protocols, so please email Mike Ferreira with me in cc if you expect to use such a resource.

I would like to thank all past users of the 1.5T scanner for their support of the BIC MRI program,


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