ADVERTISEMENT
Radiology Data Verified

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Written by
Dr. Lochana
and medically reviewed by Dr. Mounica K

Published on Feb 04, 2021   -  5 min read

Abstract

MRI is an advanced diagnostic tool that is highly beneficial. Read this article to know more.

Contents

What Is an MRI Scan?

MRI refers to the Magnetic Resonance Imaging procedure. It serves as a diagnostic tool for visualizing and imaging the different organs and tissues of the body. This method uses a high energy magnetic field and radio waves that are created with the help of a computer. The specialty of MRI is the ability to produce three-dimensional images. These three-dimensional images can be visualized from various angles. It is a harmless procedure, and most doctors will recommend a magnetic resonance imaging scan over a computed tomography scan. The average time taken for an MRI procedure to complete is about 20 to 60 minutes. If there is any disruption in the images, the patient will be called again for the repetition of the procedure.

How Does MRI Work?

Magnetic resonance imaging systems take help from radio waves and magnetic waves. The computer is of additional support to develop a cross-sectional and detailed image of internal structures and organs. The working of magnetic resonance imaging is discussed below.

The functioning of the magnetic resonance imaging scanner requires two magnets that are highly powerful. These magnets are inevitable components of the equipment. Our body contains a large number of water molecules. These water molecules are made up of both hydrogen and oxygen. A smaller particle called proton is present in both the hydrogen and oxygen molecules. These protons serve as a magnetic system that is highly responsive to the magnetic field created by the scanner. The randomly arranged water molecules of the body change in a particular direction after it gets exposed to the first magnet. The second magnet changes the alignment of the hydrogen molecules. The patient would not feel any of the changes happening in the body during the scan.

What Are the Uses of MRI Scans?

MRI scan helps in the examination of tumors, cysts, or any other pathological condition in the human tissues. These might include the following:

What Are the Types of MRI Scans?

There are two types of MRI scans. They are:

  1. Open MRI: In open MRI, all four sides of the patient are open, and this might make them feel less enclosed. It is suitable for patients with claustrophobia. The time consumption is relatively higher. But, this procedure is more friendly for children.

  2. Closed MRI: An MRI scan that is performed in a specific space is known as closed MRI. Closed MRI can produce a high-quality image when compared to the open MRI. The imaging procedure can be completed faster. But, since it is performed in a closed environment, the patient's level of anxiety increases. This method is also associated with an increased level of noise.

Are All Patients Eligible for an MRI Scan?

All the patients are not eligible for an MRI scan. There are several contraindications associated with magnetic resonance imaging. If you come under any of the following categories, then it is essential to get an opinion from your doctor before going for an MRI scan.

In addition to these, people with the following criteria are also restricted from MRI procedures.

How to Prepare a Patient Before an MRI?

The patient is asked to remove all the rings, earrings, belts, watches, and other metallic gadgets outside the scanning room. The patient will be asked to remove their clothing and change into the hospital gown. The patients should consume regular medications before the scan. The patient can eat well before the procedure and does not require any fasting condition.

In some conditions, the patient will be given contrast material in the form of a liquid to get more precise visibility of the tissues. The patient will be made to lie down on a scanning table. In addition to this, headphones or earplugs will be provided to avoid the scanner's unnecessary sounds. Children are made to listen to soft music in headphones to ease their anxiety.

During the scanning procedure, the patient will be asked to stay still without any movements. If the patient changes their position during the scan, then there would be a distortion of the images. At a certain point in time, the patient is also asked to hold their breath.

What Are the Side Effects of an MRI Scan?

The common side effects associated with MRI scan are:

What Is the Advantage of an MRI Scan Over a CT Scan?

When soft tissues are concerned, both MRI and CT scans are helpful. But, magnetic resonance imaging is beneficial in providing more precise and detailed images of the soft tissues. The risk associated with MRI is relatively low compared to CT scan. MRI can also produce clear pictures of bony structures also. CT scan requires the use of X-rays and might not be suitable for some patients. This problem is overcome by magnetic resonance imaging.

What Are the Disadvantages of an MRI Scan?

The disadvantage associated with an MRI scan are:

For more help, contact icliniq.com.

ADVERTISEMENT
Article Resources

Last reviewed at:
04 Feb 2021  -  5 min read

RATING

15

Tags:

Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers


I am having sensation issues on face after stroke. Please advise.

Query: Hello doctor, Six months back, I had a bad sinus infection with a cough that caused a left internal carotid artery dissection. I had a stroke as well that left infarcts on my left parietal lobe and caused problems with my speech and I was not able to use my cellphone correctly. Thankfully I had no ...  Read Full »

Role of Angiography in Modern Era

Article Overview: Angiography is done to visualize the insides of blood vessels using X-rays. Learn about the various types and uses of angiography. Read Article


Dr. Rahul Rathee
Dr. Rahul Rathee
Cardiologist

What Is the Meaning of Angiography? The word angiography has originated from the combination of two Greek words i.e, angion meaning 'vessel' and graphein meaning 'to record'. Angiography is a technique used to see the inside i.e, lumen of blood vessels specifically arteries/arterioles/capillarie...  Read Article

My husband suffers from supracapular anuerysm. How to treat it?

Query: Hi doctor, My husband is 30 years old. He is generally in good health. Three weeks ago he noticed a pulsating mass above his clavicle. He has some shoulder pain, but no neurological or other symptoms. He went to his primary care physician and had an ultrasound yesterday, which reported that he has ...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Stroke or Breast Cancer?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.