MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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An MRI scan is an imaging test. It uses powerful magnets and radio waves  to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body. It may show problems that cannot be seen with other imaging tests. Most MRI machines are large tube-shaped magnets. The machine temporarily realigns hydrogen atoms in the  body when you lie in it. The radio waves then uses these aligned atoms to produce very faint signals which are used to produce the cross-sectional MRI images. Single MRI images are called slices. These images can be stored on  a computer or printed on a film. One exam produces dozens of images.

WHY IT IS DONE ?

It is done to help a doctor  make a diagnosis.It is used to find problems such as bleeding, injury , tumors or infections. It can also be done to get more information on a problems seen in other  imaging tests such as x-ray , ultrasound or CT scan.

Head MRI :It looks at the brain for tumors, aneurysm, bleeding, nerve injury and other problems caused by a stroke. It can also detect disorders of the eye and inner ear.

Chest MRI : This checks the heart and blood vessels. It can show damages to the heart and lungs. It can also be used to look for breast and lung cancers.

Spine MRI : It checks for spinal cord injuries.

Bone and Joints MRI : This is done to check for problems with the joint and bones such as arthritis, tumors of the bone and soft tissues and bone infections.

Internal organs MRI : This is done for tumors and abnormalities of many internal organs including the liver, abdomen, kidney, pancreas, uterus, ovaries, prostate, spleen or testicles.

RISKS

The strong magnetic field created during an MRI can cause a pacemaker and other electronic devices  not  to work well.  It can also cause pieces of metals in your body to move or shift. A contrast dye, gadolinium can be harmful for people with kidney problems on dialysis. Let your doctor know if  you have any kidney issues before this scan. It is also important to let your doctor know if you think you may be pregnant even though the effect of MRI on a fetus is unknown.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE SCAN

Eat normally and take your medication before an MRI unless otherwise instructed not to do so. You may be asked to take these stuff off.

  • jewelry
  • removable dental works
  • hearing aids
  • underwire bras
  • watches
  • credit cards
  • wigs
  • eye glasses
  • hair pins

DURING THE SCAN

MRI scan is a painless procedure. You may be given medications to calm you if you are nervous. Ear plugs or music may be given to help you block out noises. If the table is too hard or cold, you can request a blanket. You may resume normal activities right after the test unless you were sedated.

Your doctor will analyze the results of your scan and discuss his findings with you.

REFERENCES
MRI . The National Library of Medicine.MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003335.htm. Accessed January 9, 2014

MRI . Mayo Foundation http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/mri/basics/definition/prc-20012903. Accessed January 9, 2014

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). WebMD.http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/magnetic-resonance-imaging-mri. Accessed January 9, 2014

The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved January 2014 from Dictionary.com website.http://dictionary.reference.com.

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