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MRI scan

During a MRI scan, pictures of almost all the tissue in the body are taken. The tissue that has the least hydrogen atoms, such as the bones turns out dark. The tissues that have many hydrogen atoms, such as fatty tissue looks much brighter. The timing of the radio wave pulses is constantly changed to gain information about the different types of tissues present. An MRI scan is normally used as an extremely accurate method of disease detection and structural abnormalities throughout the body.

Patient with any metallic materials within the body must notify their physician prior to the MRI scan. This is because, metallic chips, materials, metal implants, surgical clips or foreign materials (artificial joints, metallic bone plates or prosthetic devices, etc) can significantly distort the images obtained by an MRI scanner. Patients with pacemakers, metal chips or clips in and around the eyeballs cannot be scanned by an MRI because of the risk that the magnet may move the metal in these areas. Patients with artificial heart valves, metallic ear implants, bullet fragments and chemotherapy or insulin pumps should not undergo MRI scanning.

MRI scan can cause a small risk to the fetus in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore scans are not performed on pregnant women. The MRI machine produces loud thumping and humming noise when the procedure is performed. Therefore ear plugs are usually given to the patients to reduce the noise. MRI scans are a useful aid in the assessment of certain back conditions. MRI is an aid to detail studies of nerve root injuries like lumbar disc herniation and lumbar spinal stenosis. It is also extensively used in spinal disc and lumbar disc diseases and isthmic spondylolisthesis. It is also useful to rule out tumors and spinal infections.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 11, 2019