Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Overview:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a state of the art diagnostic modality with broad clinical applications. It uses a powerful but safe magnetic field, radio waves and a computer for analysis. MRI produces high contrast, high resolution images of the body's internal organs and tissues. 

Patient Comfort and Convenience:

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Because of its convenience and safety, MRI is suitable for virtually everyone (refer to Preparing for Your MRI). Since there are no side effects, patients can resume their normal activities as soon as the examination is finished (their medical condition permitting). The examination itself involves placing the patient on the scanner bed and positioning specially designed surface coils around or adjacent to the specific part of the body being examined (e.g., head, knee, spine, shoulder), and then moving the patient into the center of a large magnet. The center of the magnet is the place where the imaging takes place. 

The patient experiences no physical sensation during the scan and will only hear some gentle tapping noises. The tapping noises are merely the changing magnetic field which helps to produce the scan being switched on and off very fast with the aid of a radio frequency. The scanner is located in a room which must be shielded both to prevent external radio frequencies getting in and the pulses produced leaving. Since no ionizing radiation is used, it is commonplace for a close friend or relative to accompany the patient in the scan room and stay with them during the procedure. This is especially helpful in the case of claustrophobic or anxious patients.