MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) is a noninvasive medical test that is used by physicians to help diagnose and treat medical conditions. MRI uses powerful magnetic field and radio frequency pulses to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone, and almost all internal body structures. These images help physicians see internal body parts and presence of disease.
Those who are asked to get an MRI scan are those who may have problems with internal body parts that cannot easily be seen even with an X-ray or ultrasound. MRI is helpful for physicians to help diagnose conditions of the heart, joints, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, eyes, ears, and circulatory system. It is commonly used to scan the spine for those with back problems prior to surgery. It will help rule out inflammatory conditions as tumors.
MRI machines look like a tunnel in which patients are placed on a table that slides into the tunnel. Patients who are claustrophobic may choose to be sedated because it is important that the patient lies still during the scan to get the most accurate image. Patients just need to remove glasses, jewelry, belts, and any electronic devices off of the body. Small metal things such as dental filling and braces will not interfere with the MRI machine.
MRI scans are safe, effective, and easy. It is an important way technology is used to diagnose and better treat patients.