What Does an MRI Check For?
An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a non-invasive diagnostic tool used by medical professionals to diagnose and view various internal organs and structures in the body. MRI uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and powerful computer software to produce detailed images of the internal structures of the body from different angles. MRI helps to diagnose various conditions, diseases and injuries.
Because of its high accuracy and detailed images, an MRI is a preferred diagnostic tool for many medical conditions.
What is MRI Used to Diagnose?
An MRI is used to diagnose various medical conditions and abnormalities. Some of the most common conditions include:
- Tumors or growths in different parts of the body including head, neck, chest, pelvic area etc.
- Bone and joint injuries, including broken bones and joint diseases such as osteoporosis, arthritis etc.
- Problems with soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage etc.
- Internal bleeding in the body, including the brain, abdomen, and other organs and tissues.
- Cardiovascular diseases such as Blocked arteries, aneurysms, heart disease etc.
- Brain and nervous system issues such as brain tumors, aneurysms, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, etc.
- Abnormalities and diseases in the chest, including lungs, heart, and other organs and tissues.
How Does MRI Work?
MRI is essentially a giant magnet. The machine sends a magnetic field through your body, aligning the protons in your body’s water molecules. Then it sends a radio frequency (RF) pulse through your body, creating a signal that a computer uses to create images of your organs and tissues.
When the MRI machine turns on, the magnets in it align the protons in your body’s water molecules. Once those protons are aligned, the machine sends a radio frequency pulse into your body. That pulse agitates the protons, changing their position. As the protons move back into their normal position, they emit a signal that the MRI machine can measure. This signal creates an image of the area of the body the machine is focused on.
Preparing for an MRI.
Prior to an MRI procedure, it’s important to notify your doctor of any medications you are taking. Some medications will not be safe to take before your MRI scan, and your doctor will advise you to stop taking them prior to your procedure.
You should also notify your doctor if you have any medical implants in your body, as the MRI machine’s strong magnetic field can affect the way these devices work. For example, if you have a pacemaker, metal clips or pins, or a cochlear implant, you should not have an MRI, or you may need special preparations before having an MRI.
What to Expect During an MRI?
An MRI is a painless diagnostic test that typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. The patient lies on a table that moves inside the MRI machine for the scan.
You may be asked to change into a hospital gown, depending on what part of your body is being scanned. You will also be asked to remove all metallic objects from your body, including jewelry, watches, and hairpins. If you’re claustrophobic, the doctor may give you a mild sedative to help you relax during the scan. During the scan, you may hear loud banging and knocking sounds. This is normal and nothing to worry about. You will be given earplugs or headphones to block out the sound.
Are There Any Risks Involved in MRI?
MRI is generally considered to be safe and painless. However, there are a few risks associated with it. Because the procedure involves powerful magnets and radiofrequency waves, people with metallic implants in their body, such as a pacemaker, may not be able to have an MRI. MRI machines can also cause hearing loss, so it’s important to wear earplugs or headphones during the procedure. As with any medical procedure, there is a very small risk of developing an allergic reaction to the contrast dye used in some MRI scans.
The Benefits of an MRI
The benefits of an MRI include:
- It produces very detailed images.
- It is effective in diagnosing a wide range of medical conditions.
- It is a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t use harmful radiation.
- It can help doctors determine the best course of treatment for their patients.
- It can help diagnose medical conditions in their early stages, which can lead to better outcomes.
MRI is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that is effective in diagnosing medical conditions in various parts of the body. The procedure is safe and painless, and the benefits of an MRI include its ability to provide detailed images, diagnose a wide range of conditions, and determine the best course of treatment. Patients should be sure to talk to their doctors about any medications or medical implants they have prior to the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an MRI?
An MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a diagnostic tool that uses a strong magnetic field, radio waves and advanced software to produce detailed images of the internal structures of the body from different angles. MRI helps to diagnose various conditions, diseases and injuries, and is a preferred diagnostic tool for many medical conditions because of its high accuracy and detailed images.
What are the conditions MRI can identify?
An MRI is used to diagnose various medical conditions and abnormalities including tumors or growths in different parts of the body, bone and joint injuries, cardiovascular diseases, internal bleeding in the body, brain and nervous system issues, problems with soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage etc.
Are there any risks associated with MRI?
MRI is generally considered safe and painless. However, there are some risks associated with the procedure. People with metallic implants in their body, such as a pacemaker may not be able to have an MRI, and MRI machines can also cause hearing loss. It is important for patients to inform their doctors of any metallic objects or medical implants in their body before having an MRI procedure.
What to expect during an MRI?
An MRI is a painless diagnostic test that typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. The patient lies on a table that moves inside the MRI machine for the scan. The patient may be asked to change into a hospital gown and remove all metallic objects from their body. During the procedure, the patient may hear loud knocking and banging sounds, and may be given earplugs or headphones to block out the sound.
What are the benefits of MRI?
The benefits of an MRI include its ability to produce detailed images, diagnose a wide range of conditions, determine the best course of treatment, and it’s a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t use harmful radiation.
Can I eat or drink before an MRI?
The digestive system can affect the clarity of MRI images of the abdomen and pelvis, so it’s recommended that the patient not eat or drink anything for several hours before the scan.
How long does an MRI take?
An MRI typically takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete. However, this may vary depending on the area of the body being scanned.
Will I feel anything during the MRI procedure?
The MRI procedure is painless. However, some patients may feel claustrophobic or anxious during the scan. If this is the case, the doctor may give the patient a mild sedative to help them relax.
Can I bring someone with me for my MRI scan?
Yes, patients are allowed to bring someone with them to their MRI scan. However, the person must also remove all metallic objects from their body before entering the scan room.
What should I do after my MRI scan?
After the MRI scan, the patient can resume normal activities. If the patient was given a contrast agent during the scan, they may be advised to drink plenty of fluids to help eliminate the agent from their body. The patient’s physician will discuss the results of the scan with them after the scan is complete.
Can I move during the MRI scan?
Patients are often instructed to remain still during the MRI scan to ensure clear images. However, it is not uncommon for small movements to occur during the scan. These movements can be corrected by the machine’s software.