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MAGNETIC RESONANCE - International Turkish Hospital

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Magnetic Resonance


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What is MRI of the Body?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

MRI uses a powerful magnetic field, radio frequency pulses and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures. MRI does not use ionizing radiation (x-rays).

Detailed MR images allow physicians to evaluate various parts of the body and determine the presence of certain diseases. The images can then be examined on a computer monitor, transmitted electronically, printed or copied to a CD.

What are some common uses of the procedure?

MR imaging of the body is performed to evaluate:

  • organs of the chest and abdomen—including the heart, liver, biliary tract, kidneys, spleen, bowel, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
  • pelvic organs including the bladder and the reproductive organs such as the uterus and ovaries in females and the prostate gland in males.
  • blood vessels (including MR Angiography).
  • lymph nodes.

Physicians use an MR examination to help diagnose or monitor treatment for conditions such as:

  • tumors of the chest, abdomen or pelvis.
  • diseases of the liver, such as cirrhosis, and abnormalities of the bile ducts and pancreas
  • inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn
  • disease and ulcerative colitis
  • heart problems, such as congenital heart disease.
  • malformations of the blood vessels and inflammation of the vessels (vasculitis).
  • a fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman.

What are the benefits vs. risks?

Benefits

  • MRI is a noninvasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
  • MR images of the soft-tissue structures of the body such as the heart, liver and many other organs is more likely in some instances to identify and accurately characterize diseases than other imaging methods. This detail makes MRI an invaluable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of many focal lesions and tumors.
  • MRI has proven valuable in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, and muscular and bone abnormalities.
  • MRI enables the discovery of abnormalities that might be obscured by bone with other imaging methods.
  • MRI allows physicians to assess the biliary system noninvasively and without contrast injection.
  • The contrast material used in MRI exams is less likely to produce an allergic reaction than the iodine-based contrast materials used for conventional x-rays and CT scanning.
  • MRI provides a noninvasive alternative to x-ray, angiography and CT for diagnosing problems of the heart and blood vessels.

Risks

  • The MRI examination poses almost no risk to the average patient when appropriate safety guidelines are followed.
  • There is a very slight risk of an allergic reaction if contrast material is injected. Such reactions usually are mild and easily controlled by medication. If you experience allergic symptoms, a radiologist or other physician will be available for immediate assistance.
  • Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is currently a recognized, but rare, complication of MRI believed to be caused by the injection of high doses of gadolinium-based contrast material in patients with very poor kidney function. Careful assessment of kidney function before considering a contrast injection minimizes the risk of this very rare complication.
  • Manufacturers of intravenous contrast indicate mothers should not breastfeed their babies for 24-48 hours after contrast medium is given. However, both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the European Society of Urogenital Radiology note that the available data suggest that it is safe to continue breastfeeding after receiving intravenous contrast.

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