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MRI Prices & Models Compared: Siemens MRI vs GE MRI

Posted by Vikki Harmonay on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

Wide Bore MRI

The major difference between a conventional closed bore system and a wide bore system is the size of the patient openingSiemensMRI-GE MRI Comparedblog-1—60cm versus 70cm. This 10cm difference (approx. 4“) is the newest offering from the OEM’s to help differentiate themselves from older and less expensive systems. The wider bore can help ease the claustrophobic aspect of the patient’s MRI experience, as well as provide more comfort for larger patients. 

Currently the leading wide bore system is the Siemens Espree MRI. GE was several years behind Siemens in introducing their competing model, the Optima 450W MRI. Both OEMs’ models use the newer integrated coil technology (Siemens calls theirs “TIMS” for Total Imaging Matrix and GE calls theirs “GEMS”) which permits multiple coils to be connected at the same time, allowing multiple simultaneous studies. This feature greatly increases efficiency and workflow. 

However, while TIMS is a standard option for the Espree, GEMS is not a standard option for the Optima 450W. 

Since Siemens was first to market with TIMS and the 70cm bore, the Siemens Espree systems are more available in the pre-owned MRI market than the GE Optima 450W. 

  • Price for a pre-owned Siemens Espree are in the $600,000 to $700,000 range.
  • Price for a pre-owned GE Optima 450W are in the $650,000 to $750,000 range.

The difference in MRI price reflects availability and market share. Since the GE 450W has a new magnet design and there are fewer systems installed, the costs for parts and labor are also higher. The 450W magnet must be passively shimmed, which is a more expensive procedure. 

Closed Bore MRI Siemens Avanto vs GE Optima 450/EXCITE HDxT 23X

The equivalent 60cm closed bore systems are the Siemens Avanto MRI and the GE Optima 450 MRI or GE Excite 23X MRI. 

The Siemens Avanto is essentially the same system as the Espree but with the smaller bore - 60cm. The Avanto uses the TIMS integrated coil technology too.

  • Price for pre-owned Avanto unit is approximately $400,000 to $500,000.

The GE Optima 450 is very different from the GE Optima 450W. This model uses the older CX-K4 LCC magnet first introduced in 1999, and it is not upgradable to the GEMS integrated coil technology. The CX-K4 LCC is a very stable and reliable magnet and should not be discounted because it is older technology. 

  • Price for pre-owned Optima 450’s are approximately $500,000 to $600,000.

Siemens vs General Electric Conventional Closed Bore 60cm MRI Systems 

The GE Signa EXCITE HD and HDxT MRI are very popular models. These models use GE’s very stable CX-K4 LCC magnet that was produced from 1999 until 2011. The EXCITE platform is upgradable up through the 23X software, and units are available up to 16 channels. 

  • Price for a pre-owned EXCITE HD 12X 8 Channel system—$300,000 to $350,000
  • Price for a pre-owned EXCITE HDxT 15X 8 Channel system—$350,000 to $400,000
  • Price for a pre-owned EXCITE HDxT 15X or 16X 16 Channel system—$400,000 to $450,000 
  • Price for a pre-owned EXCITE HDxT 23X 16 Channel system—$450,000 to $500,000

The Siemens equivalent in this category is the Symphony 8 Channel MRI system. We do not recommend this system because the head coil and the breast coils are the only available 8 channel coils.

  • Price for a pre-owned Symphony 8 Channel System is approximately $200,000 to $250,000.

However, the Siemens Symphony with TIMS is a viable option. Siemens has both the TIMS Matrix 8 or 18 Channel coils.

  • The price for this option (pre-owned) is approximately $250,000 to $300,000.

If you need MRI technology for your practice, clinic or healthcare facility, be sure to consider the concept of using refurbished or used equipment. You can usually get the technology you want—as well as the warranty and service you need—at much more affordable rates. It makes sense to talk to an expert, like those at Atlantis Worldwide.  

Please contact Jeff Weiss at 212-366-9100 or

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Topics: Medical Imaging Equipment Costs, Medical Imaging Comparisons, MRI