What is MRI Scan?

What is MRI Scan?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic technique that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce a detailed image of the body’s soft tissue and bones. An MRI images the spine by using a magnet that goes around the body to excite hydrogen atoms.

After the atoms return to their normal level of excitation, they emit energy that is detected on a scanner. An MRI scan is generally considered to be the single best imaging study of the spine to help plan treatment for back pain. They are typically used for pre-surgical planning since the scan is extremely sensitive to information about the health of discs as well as the presence of tumors or a herniated disc.

Why Would You Get an MRI?

An MRI helps a doctor diagnose a disease or injury, and it can monitor how well you’re doing with a treatment. MRIs can be done on different parts of your body.

An MRI of the brain and spinal cord looks for:

• Blood vessel damagerain injury

• Cancer

• Multiple sclerosis

• Spinal cord injuries

• Stroke

An MRI of the heart and blood vessels looks for:

• Blocked blood vessels

• Damage caused by a heart attack

• Heart disease

• Problems with the structure of the heart

An MRI of the bones and joints looks for:

• Blood vessel damage

• Brain injury

• Cancer

• Multiple sclerosis

• Spinal cord injuriesroke

An MRI of the heart and blood vessels looks for:

• Blocked blood vessels

• Damage caused by a heart attack

• Heart disease

• Problems with the structure of the heart

An MRI of the bones and joints looks for:

• Bone infections

• Cancer

• Damage to joints

• Disc problems in the spine

MRI can also be done to check the health of these organs:

• Breasts (women)

• Liver

• Kidneys

• Ovaries (women)

• Pancreas

• Prostate (men)

A special kind of MRI called a functional MRI (fMRI) maps brain activity.

This test looks at blood flow in your brain to see which areas become active when you do certain tasks. An fMRI can detect brain problems, such as the effects of a stroke, or for brain mapping if you need brain surgery for epilepsy or tumors. Your doctor can use this test to plan your treatment.

How do I prepare for an MRI?

Before your MRI, let your doctor know if you:

• Have any health problems, such as kidney or liver disease

• Recently had surgery

• Have any allergies to food or medicine, or if you have asthma

• Are pregnant, or might be pregnant

No metal is allowed in the MRI room, because the magnetic field in the machine can attract metal. Tell your doctor whether you have any metal-based devices that might cause problems during the test. These can include:

• Artificial heart valves

• Body piercings

• Cochlear implants

• Drug pumps

• Fillings and other dental work

• Implanted nerve stimulator

• Insulin pump

• Metal fragments, such as a bullet or shrapnel

• Metal joints or limbs

• Pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)

• Pins or screws


added a year ago

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