Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging modality capable of generating detailed images of structures within the body without exposing the patient to radiation. The image date is created using a strong magnetic field and radio waves. Sectional images (tomograms) are then calculated from the resulting data by a powerful computer. Adverse side effects of this imaging modality have not been proven in 30 years of use. In most cases, pacemaker patients cannot be examined with magnetic resonance imaging.

By varying the radio waves and adding additional overlapping magnetic fields, certain characteristics of tissues within the body can be either accentuated or suppressed. These attributes make magnetic resonance imaging an ideal imaging modality for organs such as the brain, spine, internal organs, joints and vessels. Specially dedicated imaging protocols allow the exact visualization of, for example, the beating heart, the digestive tract, the bile duct, spinal fluid, or the arteries with or without the administration of a contrast agent.

During the past decade the role of MRI has changed. Many general practitioners and medical specialists routinely utilize MRI as a diagnostic tool early in the diagnostic process. Thus, the use of MRI shortens the overall course of treatment and can enable a more targeted approach.

The newest generation of MRI scanners with a wide bore of 70 cm, a short magnet and short examination times appeal to patients with claustrophobia and obese patients.