Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, is an advanced, state-of-the-art diagnostic test, which produces very clear pictures or images of the human body without the use of X-rays. This technology enables physicians to detect developing diseases or abnormalities earlier than ever before. MRI uses a powerful – but harmless – magnetic field and radiowaves like the kind that transmit your favorite FM music. The combination of radiowaves and magnetic field produce detailed images of body structures such as the brain, the spine and other vital organs.
The human body is made up of millions of atoms, which are magnetic. When placed in a magnetic field, these atoms line up with the field, much likea compass points to the North Pole. Radiowaves, tuned to a specific frequency, tipthese tiny magnets away from the magnetic field. Asthey gain energy, they tip.When the radiowaves are turned off, the atoms try to realign with the magnetic field, releasing the energythey gained as very weak radio signals.Apowerful antenna picks up these signals and sends them to the computer, which performs millions of calculations to produce an image for diagnosis.
What is the Espree Open Bore MRI?
Who Should NOT Have an MRI Exam?
What Should I Expect During an Exam?
This machine’s extra-large opening can accommodate a variety of patients; including the claustrophobic, larger patients (up to 550 lbs.*) or anyone who just likes a little more space. Due to the scanner’s short design, your head won’t need to be in the scanner for many exams.
*Factors such as patient’s body weight, body habitus and scan type may determine whether or not the scan can be performed.
Due to the use of a magnet, you CANNOT have this exam if you have any of the following:
- Certain cerebral aneurysm clips (magnetic)
- Certain heart valves
- Cochlear implants
- Metal filings in the eye
You will be asked a series of questions concerning your surgical and occupational background. If this history includes metal work (ex. welders, grinders, etc.) or metal implants, please be sure to tell the technologist prior to your exam. Preliminary X-rays may need to be taken.
An MRI scan is probably one of the easiest and most comfortable exams you will ever experience. The technologist will simply ask you to lie down on a cushioned table that will automatically move into the magnet. You will hear a muffled thumping sound, which will last for several minutes. Just relax and try to lie as still as possible, since any movement during this time will blur the image. When scanning is complete, the technologist will return to assist you off the table. The average complete MRI scan takes 45-60 minutes, depending on what your doctor has ordered.
For certain studies, the injection of a contrast agent maybe necessary to help better visualize the area being examined. Unlike contrast agents used in other radiology studies, MRI contrast agents do not contain iodine and therefore rarely cause allergic reactions or side effects.