Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test that produces images of internal organs and structures virtually anywhere in the anatomy of the body utilizing a strong magnetic field and interaction with radio waves.
MRIs are conducted to detect and diagnose problems including tumors, internal bleeding, disease, etc. They can also provide more information that cannot be seen using other medical imaging methods.
Before an MRI, patients are typically asked to change into a gown and remove items that may affect the magnetic imaging, i.e. hairpins, jewelry. Patients may also eat and take medications as usual unless otherwise instructed. During the test, patients will lie on a table and must remain still to ensure clear images.
The length of time for MRI varies depending on the type of scan prescribed by your physician. MRIs can last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes.
At times radiologists order contrast agents to be injected intravenously during a scan. Contrast agents are iodine-based fluids that are absorbed by abnormal tissue. Since the contrast agents are only absorbed by abnormal tissue and not healthy tissue, the contrast makes it easier for doctors to see tumors or other irregularities.
No, a MRI is painless. If a contrast agent is required the intravenous injection may be slightly uncomfortable.
The MRI images are read and diagnosed by one of Blue Rock Imaging’s experienced radiologists, who provides a written report of their findings. The report and images are then available to a patient’s primary doctor to help in his decision for possible treatment.
Types of MRI Scans
- MRA Brain
- MRA Carotids
- Soft Tissue Neck
- Sciatic N. Survey
- Brachial Plexus
- Contrast MRA
In a Functional MRI the patient completes six neurofunctional tests which require the brain to perform basic cognitive actions while being scanned, (long- and short-term memory, executive function, verbal fluency, problem solving, etc.) These tests are administered using MRI-safe electronic goggles for test viewing and a button pad to register responses while the brain is being imaged by MRI. Patients who have suffered from concussions, either by sports or vehicular accidents, are strongly encouraged to have a functional MRI (fMRI). For example, If the injury caused memory loss, the patient may not necessarily know they have memory loss until they undergo a brain exercise like those performed in this procedure.