What are MRI scans used for?
The development of MRI scans allows the examination of the human body accurately using a magnet and computer without potentially harmful radiation, the strong magnetic fields and radio waves produce the images of the body structures. The MRI is a large tube and the examination requires you to lie inside the tube.
The human body consists of water molecules and each water molecule contains a particle called a proton which are very sensitive to magnetic fields. The magnetic field produced by the scan machine makes the protons react and line up, the radio waves produced by the scan machine then disturb this alignment. By fluctuating between magnetic forces and short bursts of radio waves, signals are picked up by receivers which indicate the location of the protons in your body and distinguish between different types of tissue. The signals from millions of protons enable the scan machine to create detailed images of internal organs and structures of the body.
Extensive research has been carried out to determine whether the magnetic fields and radio waves used during MRI scans pose a risk to the human health. There is no evidence to suggest there is a risk, which means MRI scans are one of the safest medical procedures currently available.
The following are just some of the examples where MRI scans are used:
• Abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord.
• Tumours, cysts, and other abnormalities in various parts of the body.
• Musculo-skeletal (MSK) examinations of the joints, example knee pain and back pain.
• Diseases of the liver and other abdominal organs.
• Causes of pelvic pain in women (e.g. fibroids, endometriosis).
• Suspected uterine abnormalities in women undergoing evaluation for infertility.
• Head and Brain MRI
• Upper Abdomen MRI
• Lower Abdomen (pelvis) MRI
• Breast MRI
• Spine MRI
• Joints and ligaments MRI
• Shoulder MRI, Knee MRI, Wrist MRI, Hand MRI
The Above list is not exhaustive, MRI scans can be used to examine many parts of the body so please call for advice if your required examination is not on this list.