MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging
MRI is a non-invasive and painless procedure that is used for diagnostic radiological imaging. It uses a magnetic field and radiofrequency waves to create data which is transformed into diagnostic images by a complex computer system. No radiation is involved and MR imaging is safe for children and pregnant women.
The MRI gives information about the internal structures of the body with more sensitive soft tissue characterisation as compared to other imaging modalities like x-rays, ultrasound or CT.
It is used for the imaging of the brain, spinal cord, chest, abdomen, pelvis, joints, breast, heart and vessels. For this reason your doctor may request an MRI study even though you may have had other imaging tests already.
There are certain contra-indications for the MRI examination and you will be asked to complete a detailed questionnaire before you are allowed to enter the magnet room. These include cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants and other metal implants. It is important to discuss previous surgeries and procedures with the MRI technologists.
For the MRI examination, the area that is being studied is placed in the middle of the machine (“tunnel”). Some patients are nervous of confined spaces and will need some medication to help them relax. You will not be able to drive if you are given a sedative and will need to arrange transport.