(Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Utilizing a high tech scanner, MRI allows doctors to see internal organs, joints, muscles, blood vessels, tumors, area of infections and more, without x-rays or surgery and without exposing patients to ionizing radiation.  It is one of the safest ways to get detailed pictures of organs and tissues, and is critical for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and injuries.

Examples of some of the more common reasons patients request an MRI is for checking on the possibility of a sprained ankle or back pain. MRIs, however, can also be used when other types of testing are unable to provide sufficient information in confirming a patient’s diagnosis. For instance, in cases of brain aneurysms, brain and spine tumors, stroke cases, or in defining brain activity, or checking spinal cord integrity after trauma, an MRI is least invasive method.

The procedure for an MRI utilizes a magnetic field, radio waves and a specialized computer to construct detailed images of the body. Most MRI machines consist of a large, tube-shaped construction, that houses a large magnet within the circular area. A patient is required to lie inside the machine, where the magnetic field inside will temporarily realign hydrogen atoms in a patient’s body.

Once the patient lays down on the table or movable bed, the medical technician will slide a coil to the specific area that needs to be imaged. The coil is the part of the MRI machine that receives the MR signal. 

An electric current that runs through the wire loops will result in creating a strong magnetic field. In addition, other magnet coils will send and receive radio waves to trigger protons to realign within the body. As the protons align, the radio waves will be absorbed by those said protons, and stimulate spinning, which releases energy by these “excited” molecules. The resulting energy is picked up by the magnetic coils, and sent to a computer for processing.

Once processed, the final imaging result will be a 3D representation of the examined area. The image and resolution that is produced by the MRI scans are quite detailed and can locate small changes of structures within the body. In some of the procedure types, contrast can be used (such as gadolinium), that can be used to increase the accuracy of the generated images.

There is not much preparation necessary for patients to get ready for an MRI. The patient will arrive at the diagnostic center, dress in a gown and remove all metallic or magnetic objects such as jewelry or credit cards.  Given that MRI utilize magnets in their operation, it can interfere or be damaging to the patient’s property, and also lead to inconclusive/incorrect results, as well as generate poor image quality. In other instances, patients with heart pacemakers, metal chips, clips, or implants are not able to be scanned due to the magnetized effects.

MRI scanning is different than a CT (Computed Tomography) scan, or even general X-ray diagnostics, since there is no ionizing radiation involved.

Being that the procedure is made up of radio waves, the MRI exam is a painless procedure that will not cause and additional injury or discomfort for the patient. The radio waves are noninvasive, not able to be felt by the body, and will not tamper with body function or sensitivity. The test itself will last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes on average, but may run longer if multiple scans have to be made. 

MRIs are one of the safest ways that doctors can get a detailed overview of organs and tissues, and is a critical aspect for early detection and diagnosis, as well as the treatment of many diseases and injuries.

Installation of Our 3T MRI at 800 Shadow Lane

Toshiba Vantage Titan MRI

MR FrontView

The Vantage Titan 3T MRI is designed to maximize image quality without compromising patient comfort. With a large 71 cm aperture and the quietest exams in the industry, the Vantage Titan 1.5T and 3T scanners are the most comfortable MRI systems for all patients.