Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI is an imaging technology that employs a strong magnetic field combined with radio waves to produce vivid images of a patient’s body parts. These images provide the doctor with an accurate visual reference to detect abnormalities and thereby, make appropriate diagnosis. It is a non-invasive procedure that can produce images of organs, soft tissues, bones and the internal structure of the body.
Typically, an MRI is performed to ascertain the health of the following:
- Organs in the abdominal and chest region
- Organs in the pelvic region
- Blood vessels and lymph nodes
- Bones and musculoskeletal organs
Preparing for an MRI
Keep in mind the following points before getting an MRI done:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing without any metal
- Do not wear any jewelry, watches, or metallic items such as hairpins
- Remove debit or credit cards
- Remove eye glasses, dentures and body piercings
How does MRI work?
The MRI technology employs radiofrequency pulses to re-align the naturally existing hydrogen atoms in the body without causing any chemical changes in the tissues. The hydrogen atoms emit varying amounts of energy based on the body tissue that they are a part of. The MRI machine scans for the variations in the energy signatures and creates a picture of the tissues and organs. Electric current passed through wire coils creates the magnetic field. A computer program reads the energy signals and generates a series of images, each representing a thin slice of the body.
Computed tomography (CT) is a diagnostic imaging test that helps produce detailed images of the internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels. The imaging technique helps develop cross-sectional images which can then be reformatted in multiple planes. In some cases, the imagines can even generate three-dimensional visuals – viewed on a monitor.
In most cases, CT scanning, is the best method of detecting various types of cancers. The images are also helpful in confirming both the presence as well as the size and location of a tumor. This diagnostic test is an effective, painless and noninvasive procedure, producing most accurate images of the internal organs. CT also reveals internal injuries and internal bleeding, which is crucial in emergency cases.