MRI - The procedure, uses, and side-effects
What is an MRI scan?
MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a non-invasive medical imaging technology that provides three-dimensional detailed anatomical images by using a magnetic field and radio waves technique. The magnetic field strength of an MRI machine is measured in Tesla. The clinics mostly use 1.5 or 3 Tesla referred to as 1.5 or 3T. These produce an extremely strong magnetic field up to 50,000 times that of Earth’s magnetic field. MRI machines typically are large and tube-shaped with a hole at both ends. MRI is used to detect disease, diagnose multiple medical problems, and monitor the treatment.
Procedure for MRI:
After arriving in the hospital, follow the below-mentioned process for an MRI scan.
- ● the doctor will ask you to wear a gown. It is essential due to the presence of a magnet in the scanner. You can't take a metallic object inside the scanner.
- ● the patient is required to remove any metal or accessories they carry.
- ● a radiologist in the scanning room will ask you to lie down on the scanner table.
- ● once the patient is comfortable, the radiologist will run the scan and take the image from the computer attached to the scanner through software.
Experts perform the MRI using a table that slides into the MRI machine, a sizeable magnet-shaped tool. After that, the radiologist will take images as per the requirement.
What is MRI plain and contrast?
The main difference between MRI plain and contrast is; MRI contrast uses a gadolinium-based dye injected into a patient intravenously before the scan. MRI contrast is used for a more detailed tissue image to differentiate between the tumor and healthy cells. At the same time, MRI plain is ineffective in detecting the tumor cells.
How is MRI different from a CT scan? /MRI vs. CT scan
As previously mentioned, an MRI scan uses high magnetic and radio waves to produce an image. A computed tomography scan or CT scan uses X-rays to create a series of pictures taken from different sides of the body. CT scan being less expensive is used widely as compared to MRI. Even though both scans have similar uses, however, MRI creates a more precise image.
The uses and benefits of MRI scan/ what is MRI scan used for?
MRI helps a health care professional diagnose a disease or injury. It also helps to monitor the ongoing treatment of the damaged part or portion of the body. MRI scanning can be done on different parts of the body to examine the organs, tissues, and skeletal system. MRI scans unlike CT (Computed Tomography) scan and X-ray do not use the harmful ionizing radiation of X-rays. It provides extremely clear images of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ligaments, and tendons which an X-ray machine and CT scan cannot provide. This is the reason why MRI is often used to treat knee and shoulder injuries. MRI helps to detect the problem in:-
- Brain and Spinal cord - The MRI scanning of this part helps to diagnose problems in blood vessels, brain injury, cancer, Eye disorder, spinal cord problem, tumour, stroke
- Heart and Blood Vessels- Blockage or inflammation in the blood vessels, size and the function of the heart’s chamber, Damage caused by a heart attack, thickness, and movement of the walls of the heart and heart structure can be detected through MRI scanning.
- Bone and joints – The MRI scanning of this part helps to detect disk problems in the spine, Bone infection, joint abnormalities, tumours of the bones and the tissues.
- Internal organs MRI - It helps to detect problems in the pancreas, kidneys, liver, ovaries and prostate, uterus, and spleen
- Breast MRI – It can be used with mammography to detect breast cancer particularly in women who have dense breast tissue, or might be at higher risk of breast cancer disease.
Apart from this, there is a functional MRI that maps brain activity. It is a special type of MRI that produces images of blood flow to the particular area of the brain to examine the brain’s anatomy and determine which parts of the brain are handling critical functions.
Risk & Side effects of MRI:
There are not any known side effects of MRI as there is no risk of exposure to radiation during the procedure; however, due to the strong magnet your doctor may not advise the MRI scan to the pregnant women especially in the first trimester. There is a risk for allergic reaction if contrast dye is used. You should inform your doctor if you are allergic to medications, contrast dye, iodine, or shellfish. MRI contrast scan may affect other medical conditions such as allergies, asthma, hypotension, sickle disease, and kidney disease.
MRI is a safe and painless procedure but metal in the scanner may cause a serious safety issue or lower the quality of the image. You must inform the radiologists about the metal in your body. Even a small piece of metal can form an accident.
If you are considering an MRI test, get one, and don’t worry, the test is quick and painless. Our highly skilled and experienced professionals are available round the clock to help you go through the various tests and procedures. We are one of the best centers/hospitals in Dwarka, Delhi and we have one of the best radiologists in Dwarka Delhi. Patients visit Aakash Healthcare, Dwarka to get the radiology test done, as we provide an array of advanced imaging services which includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography scanning (CT), ultrasound, and digital mammography that help the doctors precisely analyze each illness region, assuring early recognition and treatment.
We perform both MRI plain and contrast tests as advised by the doctors at an affordable price/cost/charge. We are aware that it is difficult for common people to pay for life-saving diagnostic scans, so we come with various schemes from time to time to reduce the cost/charge/price of MRI scans in Delhi. Our offerings are MRI abdomen/stomach, MRI brain/head, MRI lungs, MRI spine, MRI knee, MRI shoulder, and MRI heart among several others.
Dr. Meinal Chaudhry
Dept. of Radiodiagnosis and Intervention Radiology