Cortney Gensemer

Upright MRI is an improved MRI imaging technique that allows for dynamic, weight-bearing imaging and has been utilized in medicine for the past 15 years.  It is well documented in the medical literature that traditional supine evaluation does not accurately reflect physiological forces and as a result, can miss pathologies that are detectable by upright MRI. Additionally, upright MRI is ‘open’ which allows for MRI scans of patients with conditions that would make traditional MRI imaging difficult and allows for parents or caregivers to be present to reassure patients during their scan. Currently, MUSC does not have an upright MRI despite it’s proven usefulness to several physicians. Patients of MUSC doctors must travel hours to get appropriate scans, which results in more out of pocket expenses for patients and less revenue generated for MUSC. As a patient at MUSC, I have received excellent care from Dr. Patel, as well as several other physicians. However, I have been disappointed in being unable to receive all of the testing related to my medical care here in Charleston. I have made several trips hours away, traveling alone with complex health conditions to receive an upright MRI at another facility. My upright MRI provided invaluable insight into my spinal instability that was missed on traditional supine MRI. Because of this technology, I was able to get an accurate diagnosis and receive the spinal fusion I desperately needed to allow me to continue my education. But the travel, time away from my graduate school studies and expenses to get these MRIs  have been difficult, exhausting and a huge inconvenience. We have the opportunity to address an unmet medical need for patients at MUSC and Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital with the addition of an upright MRI scanner to the radiology department and I hope that through fundraising efforts, this will be possible.