MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan is an imaging test that creates pictures of internal body structures (bones and soft tissues) with the help of magnetic fields and radio waves
The MRI can also be combined with other imaging techniques to provide a more definitive diagnosis. The scan is often used to clarify findings from previous X-rays or CT scans.
MRI scans provide information on a variety of conditions and procedures and to assess function of the internal organs such as:
Before the procedure, you will be asked to remove any metallic devices such as hearing aids, hairpins, removable dental work or other objects that may interfere with the procedure. You may be provided with ear plugs or music to block the strong noises from the MRI scan. You may be sedated if required.
The MRI machine consists of a large strong magnet and a table that moves into the opening of the scanner. During the procedure, you will be asked to lie on the table, which will be advanced into the scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field that creates loud noises. In some cases, a contrast dye may be injected through your arm to provide a clearer view of the scan. A radio wave antenna directs signals to the body and receives them back to create images by a computer attached to the scanner. You need to keep very still throughout the scan as movement may blur the resulting images. The entire procedure may take up to an hour to complete.
If you were not sedated, you may resume your usual activities immediately after the MRI. If you have been given a sedative, you will need to arrange for a relative or friend to take you home after the scan.
Advantages of MRI include:
Since an MRI scan is a noninvasive test, it is a very safe procedure. However, there is a very small risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast dye or sedation medicine if used. Any metal or electronic devices in your body are a safety threat and you should not undergo an MRI in those circumstances. Before your MRI test, make sure you notify your doctor and the MRI technologist if you: