Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a non-invasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.
MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor.

How safe is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)?

MRI is quite safe in the majority of patients. Certain patients are unable to do an MRI such as people that are nervous in small spaces (claustrophobic) and those with implanted medical devices such as aneurysm clips in the brain, heart pacemakers and cochlear (inner ear) implants. Also, people with pieces of metal close to or in an important organ (such as the eye) may not be scanned. There are a few additional safety considerations and some exceptions based on individual circumstances. As MRI is using powerful magnetic field it may disrupt the scan images or even damage the items that is magnetic.

What are the uses and advantages of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners are good at looking at the non-bony parts or soft tissues of the body. In particular, the brain, spinal cord and nerves are seen much more clearly with MRI than with regular x-rays and CAT scans. Also, muscles, ligaments and tendons are seen quite well so that MRI scans are commonly used to look at knees and shoulders following injuries. A MRI scanner uses no X-Ray or other radiation. A disadvantage of MRI is it’s higher cost compared to a regular X-Ray or CAT scan.

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