MRI Scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan is a kind of a medical investigation or testing which makes use of magnetic and radio frequency waves to create an image of the body. MRI Scan is capable of taking pictures of different body parts as well as organs. The information thus generated can be seen with ultrasound, X Ray and CT scans. The advantage of MRI Scan is that it showcases problem areas which other types of imaging methods or mechanisms are not capable of producing.
In MRI Scan, the body part or organ area which needs to be focused upon is placed inside a machine which consists of a very strong magnet. In most cases, a contrast material is also used on the particular body part so as to create a more clear image. The test is done to find problems like tumors, blood vessel diseases, injuries and infections and thereby thus helps in diagnosis and treatment.
Tesla (T) is the unit of measurement which gives the strength of a magnetic field. The high-field standard was 1.5 Tesla prior to the 3 Tesla Machine. However even today, 1.5 Tesla machines are being used and produce completely adequate results. The biggest strength of 3 Tesla machines over 1.5 Tesla ones is their ability to reduce image noise.
For the preparation for an MRI Scan, the doctor may want to know if you are allergic to anything, are pregnant, allergic to any medicines and would like to know about your normal health condition. Doctors should also be informed if there are any metal plates or other implantations in your body, if you have had any previous surgeries or operations, or if you wear any medical patches etc. You may want to arrange someone to drive you home after the MRI Scan as the sedative given may need you to relax.
Different MRI Scans need different kinds of guidelines and preparations. For example, for the MRI Scan of the abdomen and pelvic area, doctors may ask you not to drink or eat for several hours before the test.
A special dye which is known as contrast material is required for MRI Scans which help to highlight the body parts or organs which will be going under scan. What this material does is that it helps in blocking the x rays and comes as white in the images obtained. This white color can help emphasize on the organs or vessels.
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Benefits of MRI Scan:
The main and most important benefit of an MRI Scan diagnostic test is that it helps produce or generate clear images of body parts or organs and thus helps to detect infections, diseases and injuries which can thus be treated appropriately.
MRI Scan provides a better soft tissue contrast than the CT scan and has the capability of differentiating between water, fat, muscle.
MRI Scan is an extremely useful test and an important tool in medical imaging. The following are some of its common uses:
MRI scan for head helps to look for tumors, nerve injuries, and other problems like damage caused by a stroke. It also helps to detect problems of the optic nerves, ears and eyes etc.
MRI Scan for chest helps to look at coronary blood vessels, valves of the heart and show if any of these are damaged.
MRI Scan of Blood Vessels helps to see the blood vessels and the flow of blood through them. This process is known as magnetic resonance angiography. It helps to detect problems of the veins, arteries and see if any of them are blocked or torn.
MRI Scan of Pelvic and Abdomen proves very useful in finding problems related to pancreas, kidneys, bladder, liver and gallbladder etc. It can help to see tumors, infections and bleeding etc.
MRI Scan of Bones and Joints help look at problems related to joints and bones like arthritis clearly. It also detects issues related to bone marrow, cartilage, bone tumors and ligaments.