MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a safe non-invasive diagnostic tool used for examination of the body’s tissues and organs. Various parts of the body such as the brain, spinal cord, joints and other areas can be examined. The patient is placed in a magnetic field and radio frequency pulses and computer technology are used to create highly defined images. There is no exposure to x-rays unlike CAT scan imaging. The data is reviewed by a radiologist and the patient’s treating physician. The information is used to help establish diagnosis, to follow patients during the course of an illness and sometimes to help determine the patient’s prognosis.
Patients with medical problems including strokes, seizures, brain tumors, traumatic injuries, memory problems, Multiple Sclerosis, back pain and dizziness often have MRI abnormalities. All patients must be cleared by their physician before having an MRI. Some patients will requite the administration of a semi-magnetic contrast agent as a part of the testing procedure. This agent will sometimes cause enhancement of abnormal areas to help the treating physician to better understand the nature of the patient’s medical problem. The administration the contrast material adds only minimal risk. Many patients are claustrophobic and are much more comfortable in “open” MR scanners.
MRI technology has revolutionized the way medicine is practiced, especially neurology.
Any questions about why the test is ordered, how it is done, what are the risks, benefit and alternative diagnostic studies should be addressed by your physician before undergoing the study.
The test is covered by most insurance plans.
Learn about the Physicians’ OpenMRI.