An MRI is a diagnostic imaging technique that utilizes radio waves to display extremely detailed images of the body's tissues and organs. Magnetic resonance imaging is more commonly known as an MRI and is a non-invasive diagnostic tool or procedure that may aid in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of a myriad of conditions and disease processes.
MRI technology uses radio waves in combination with computer imaging systems to create and view images or "slices" of the human body. Organs, tissues, your brain or your heart may be scanned using MRI technology to detect changes in structure.
How is it Performed?
You'll wear a hospital gown for the test
You'll be asked to remove any metal jewelry or items from your body and clothing
You may be asked to drink a contrast agent, or one may be administered through an IV prior to the test
You'll be asked to lie on a table in a position that will facilitate the area of the body being scanned
The machine will engage and pull the table into a long, narrow tube-like machine
The machine makes whirring and clicking noises as a special camera takes images of your body
Creates high definition images of the spinal cord and brain
Diagnoses heart and blood vessel anomalies
Used as a diagnostic tool to determine scope and severity of damage following injury, heart attack or stroke
Identify damage caused to the spine or the spinal cord
Diagnose damage or disease to the eyes
Aid in the diagnosis of conditions and diseases
How Long Does it Take?
An MRI usually takes less than an hour, but this depends on the body part/s being scanned. In some cases, your doctor or the MRI technician will need to redo the images or test depending on desired results. Length of time is also determined by what your doctor is trying to diagnose. You may need to answer questions while you're in the MRI machine, or you may be asked to perform small motor movements.