What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been used since the beginning of the 1980s. It is a machine that provides a great way for doctors to see inside a patient’s body without performing surgery. It works by taking multiple pictures of the body in portions using magnetic and radio frequency fields and then puts the pictures together to form a clear 3D image. Below is how the MRI is used and its benefit over CTs and X-rays.
For What Type of Diagnoses is Magnetic Resonance Imaging Used?
Because it provides excellent soft tissue pictures, showing abnormal versus normal tissues, it is a good source for viewing the brain, heart, spinal cord, and nerves. In this regard, MRI is used to determine:
- If there is bleeding on the brain, if there are benign or malignant brain tumors, or if brain tissues have suffered a lack of oxygen following a stroke.
- If a patient has multiple sclerosis.
- If a patient has a heart defect or if tissue damage has occurred following a heart attack.
- If cancer has spread to nearby tissues.
In addition, the MRI can be used to examine joints and soft parts of the body like the kidneys, spleen or liver.
What is the Benefit of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Over Computed Tomography (CT) Scans or X-rays?
Although more expensive, the reasons why MRI is popular with doctors are that:
- It does not use ionizing radiation like CT scans and X-rays
- It can take a picture from every angle, while a CT scan shows pictures horizontally only
- It provides a detailed image of soft tissue, for such diagnoses as those listed in the above section, while a CT scan shows the contrast of soft tissue and bone density (CT is used as a source to determine broken bones)
A technician taught in a quality MRI training program is the professional who runs the MRI machine. The MRI technician takes scans according to doctor’s orders and then determines if the scans will be satisfactory for analysis by the doctor.