What is an MRI and Why is it Important?

Doctor Examines MRI ResultsMagnetic resonance imaging, most commonly known as MRI, is a type of non-invasive medical test used by physicians to diagnose various medical conditions. It uses powerful radio waves and magnets, as well as a powerful computer, to produce detailed images of the organs and other internal structures of the body. It’s also important to note that an MRI doesn’t use radiation like CT scans and X-rays do.

Common Uses of an MRI

Rainylakemedical.com notes that an MRI is a unique and versatile tool that can be used on different parts of the body. This makes it easier for physicians to accurately diagnose an injury or disease. It also helps them closely monitor the progress of your treatment.

Some of the common uses of an MRI are for evaluating conditions related to:

  • the spinal cord and brain, such as brain injury, blood vessel damage, multiple sclerosis, brain cancer, stroke, and injuries in the spinal cord
  • the blood vessels and heart, such as blocked blood vessels, heart diseases, heart structure problems, and heart attack damages
  • the joints and bones, such as bone cancer, bone infections, joint damages, and spinal disc problems

MRI may also be used to check these other organs: liver, breasts, kidneys, ovaries, pancreas, and prostate. Additionally, it is also useful when it comes to revealing any brain abnormalities in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

How to Prepare for an MRI?

Before your physician lets you undergo an MRI, he or she will ask you several questions about your health to make sure you are a good fit for an MRI. Your doctor will ask if you have any health issues, such as a liver or kidney disease and if you’ve had any recent surgery. You should also let your doctor know if you have any medicine or food allergies or if you suffer from asthma, as well as if you are pregnant or plans to be pregnant.

Also, it’s very important to let your doctor know if you have any devices with metal on or implanted in your body, such as cochlear implants, pacemaker, body piercings, dental fillings, insulin pump, artificial heart valves, and metal prosthetic limbs, as well as metal fragments trapped in your body like a shrapnel or a bullet. This is because the strong magnetic field in the MRI machine can attract metal.

MRI is a great tool used by doctors to accurately diagnose and treat their patients. Aside from being a non-invasive procedure, it avoids the exposure of the patient to ionizing radiation.