Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) refers to an imaging technique that uses a combination of radio waves, magnetic fields, and a computer to scan your body. The MRI system consists of a cylindrical tube that is encircled by a circular magnet.
For the test, you need to lie on a bed that slides in the magnet’s centre. You can know more here by reading this post.
How Does MRI Work?
MRI is different from CT scans or X-rays. The radio waves emitted by the MRI unit align hydrogen atoms within the human body. This happens without bringing any chemical changes in the body tissues. After the test is over, the hydrogen atoms return to their earlier alignment.
While returning to their earlier alignment, hydrogen atoms emit a specific amount of energy and the emitted energy changes with body tissues. The MRI scanners capture energy emitted by the tissues (hydrogen atoms) to create a picture.
During the MRI test, an electric current is passed through the magnet that encircles the body. The coils fitted in the MRI unit send radio waves. It also receives radio waves and produces signals that can be detected by the computer. The patient doesn’t come into contact with the electric current during the MRI test.
The computer attached to the MRI unit processes the signals. It develops a series of images that shows a thin section of your body. Radiologists can study these images from different angles. You can learn more here about the uses of MRI tests.
What Is MRI Used For?
MRI test is primarily used to study the brain, spinal cord, bone joints, and blood vessels. It can be useful in following medical scenarios.
- To find out the damage to blood vessels.
- Brain Injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Inner eye issues
- Eye problems
- Damage to bone joints
- Low back pain
- Neck problems
- Bone infections
- Spine disc problems
MRI test also helps study the health of the following organs. Here is the list
- Prostate in Men
- Breasts in Women
- Ovaries in Women
Doctors recommend MRI tests when other testing methods fail to provide adequate and accurate information for the right diagnosis. MRI scan is exceptionally accurate and can be used to create 3D images for better disease detection.
For example, brain trauma results in swelling or bleeding that can be detected in the MRI test. This imaging technique can also be used to study abnormalities like a brain tumour, inflammation of the spinal cord, stroke, or brain aneurysms.
What Are the Advantages of MRI?
One of the main benefits of MRI is it does not expose your body to X-radiation. The whole test process is painless. Neurologists prefer MRI over other tests due to its sharp accuracy in detecting abnormalities in the human body. According to experts, MRI tests have no known side effects, making it extremely safe for patients of all age groups. Most patients do not require any sedation during the test.
There is no doubt MRI is a useful imaging technique that helps doctors detect and treat life-threatening diseases more accurately. Most patients return to their routine after the MRI test, making it more attractive to patients.